Energy / Freeze on Clean Energy

Ohio should modernize, not freeze, its electricity market: Dick Munson and Josh Knights (Opinion)

Cleveland's first privately owned large-scale wind turbine sits atop a 140-foot tower at the Pearl Road Auto Parts and Wrecking Co. at 5000 Pearl Road.

Cleveland’s first privately owned large-scale wind turbine sits atop a 140-foot tower at the Pearl Road Auto Parts and Wrecking Co. at 5000 Pearl Road.

CLEVELAND — “Across the country, America’s electricity landscape is changing dramatically, and other states are taking the clean energy lead away from Ohio. Texas, typically known for its oil and gas operations, now produces more wind power than most countries. New York is taking steps to overhaul its electricity markets to meet 21st-century needs. Illinois is modernizing its electric grid, empowering people to monitor and leverage their energy use data. Rooftop solar is exploding, meaning more and more homes are generating their own electricity onsite.

Additionally, new private-sector players are entering the electricity market, which used to be controlled by utility monopolies. Global corporations like Walmart and Facebook are installing wind turbines and solar panels. Tesla Motors is producing batteries on a massive scale. Google spent $3.2 billion to acquire Nest Laboratories because it sees the potential of smart thermostats to become the foundation for home system automation. Perhaps more importantly, thousands of entrepreneurs are developing new technologies or software to empower people to lower their bills and reduce pollution.

This momentum is threatening to pass Ohio by, unless our state regains its leadership in such innovation and investment. Our legislature and governor must embrace competition, modern energy standards, and new players to build a 21st-century energy system. We should not allow a “freeze” on clean energy progress to leave Ohio frozen in the past.”

— opinion, Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund and Josh Knights, The Nature Conservancy, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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