Ohio lawmakers clear bill that represents pushback on green energy

Ohio lawmakers clear bill that represents pushback on green energy

Ohio lawmakers on Wednesday passed a bill that would freeze the phasing-in of electricity/power that utilities must purchase from renewable energy sources.

The Ohio House of Representatives cleared the bill by 54-38 votes. It is now expected to be signed into law by Governor John R. Kasich, who played a key role in negotiating the final draft of the bill.

The government wants to roll back the incentives and mandates that were originally offered to renewable energy producers in 2008 to help them compete better against traditional fossil fuel energy producers. However, renewable energy still accounts for just 6 per cent of the country's total power production.

Opponents of the incentives and mandates argued that wind and solar power should now compete on their own with traditional fossil fuels as their costs have significantly slipped over the recent years.

However, the renewable energy industry of the US has cautioned that frequent changes in government policies would create uncertainty, which would in turn discourage investments in the clean energy sector.

Todd Foley, of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said, "Energy markets are highly policy-driven. When states and even the federal government continually revisit these policies, it sends a signal of uncertainty. It chills market and investment momentum."

Since mid of last year, more than a twelve states of the U. S. have taken up proposals to either weaken or remove green energy incentives and mandates.