Energy / Freeze on Clean Energy

Ohio: More clean energy jobs, but for projects in other states


COLUMBUS — “Although a new jobs report shows Ohio with a net gain in renewable energy jobs last year, most of those jobs were for out-of-state projects.

As a result, industry experts say, the state lost out on additional jobs that would have been local, well-paid and ongoing.

And despite the overall net growth, Ohio’s wind industry lost more than 1,400 jobs last year, according to the report by the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs.

Industry experts attribute that loss to a combination of two 2014 state laws, Senate Bill 310 and House Bill 483. SB 310 amended and put a two-year “freeze” on targets for the state’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. HB 483 basically tripled the property line setbacks for wind turbines, effectively blocking most new commercial wind farms in the state.

The new report, showing a total of 100,782 clean energy jobs in Ohio, is “a pretty big deal” in light of the two laws, noted Ted Ford, president of Ohio Advanced Energy Economy. Nonetheless, he said, it’s in the state’s interest to adopt policies that will maximize job growth in the industry.”

— Kathiann M Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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