WASHINGTON—A solid majority of Ohioans support investment in renewable energy and the state's law which encourages those investments, according to a new statewide public opinion survey.
"Ohio is one of the fastest growing states for renewable energy investments," noted Rob Gramlich, Interim President and CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. "Polling data in Ohio shows that large majorities of Ohioans from all backgrounds support sound investments in renewable energy. This data confirms that Ohio's policymakers should continue on the successful course they have taken since the clean energy law was passed in 2008."
The poll found that:
·Nearly 80 percent of Ohio voters support laws requiring Ohio to produce a portion of its electricity from clean energy sources, finding sources like wind and solar power particularly important.
·Three out of four Ohioans support increasing the number of wind farms in the Buckeye State.
·Nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters support the state's policy that promotes new sources of clean energy to make Ohio less dependent on fossil fuel energy sources.
·Nearly 60 percent of Ohioans would even be willing to pay, if necessary, up to $3 per month, on top of their electricity bills which average $100 a month, in order to use clean electricity sources, which reduce wholesale power cost and offer long-term fixed rates for consumers.
The favorable polling for Ohio's renewable and clean energy policies comes as the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, is planning to hold hearings reviewing the state's clean energy law. "It is clear a strong majority of Ohio citizens support the state's clean energy law despite the repeated attempts by some General Assembly members to either repeal or weaken Ohio's clean energy laws," said Gramlich."The upcoming Senate hearings should confirm and continue the positive steps Ohio has taken on clean energy."
In May 2008, the Ohio General Assembly passed the state's landmark Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard as part of Senate Bill 221. The bipartisan legislation requires Ohio's utilities to obtain an increasing percentage of electricity from renewable sources.This year, utilities need to acquire three percent of their electricity supplies from such sources, including: wind, geothermal, biomass, biologically derived methane gas, landfill gas, certain co-generation and heat recovery facilities, qualified hydroelectric facilities, and solar.
The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard has encouraged significant private investment through renewable energy development. The state's two wind farms in Van Wert and Paulding counties are providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 100,000 homes and were two of the state's biggest capital investments in 2011, totaling approximately $800 million in private investment.
Key findings from the poll can be found here.