The US renewable energy council ACORE drafted a guideline for increased investment and adoption of renewable energy resources in the state of Ohio.According to the guideline, prepared in collaboration with the US Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF), the state is paving the way for an investment boost in the market by implementing business friendly policies.
Renewable energy investments
The draft predicts that the correct mix of policies would result in investments in the sector reaching US$25 billion, a development which would significantly contribute towards the growth of the sector and the economy through employment creation.
With the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and other policies in place since 2008 until 2014, the sector managed to record a significant growth in the adoption of renewable energy sources.
98% of Ohio’s renewable energy generation was installed under the RPS with 430MW of wind power and 100MW of solar power being enacted, highlighted ACORE.
The market attracted over US$1.3 bn in asset finance, private equity and venture capital and more than US$2.5m in annual lease were paid to Ohio landowners providing additional income to rural communities.
The sector also created domestic supply chains supporting domestic manufacturing construction and technology sectors creating jobs for the locals.
Regulation impacts on renewable energy markets
However, the shift from the policy has resulted in a decline in investments and continued adoption of renewables due to market uncertainty.
Since the implementation of the SB310 and HB483 policies in 2014, no positive changes have occurred in the renewable energy sector in Ohio.
The HB310 froze the RPS for two years and the HB483 created some setbacks for wind energy facilities and no new permit applications for installing wind power have been approved since 2014 yet the market for renewable energy is significant.
With the two policies in place, investors have turned to other states such as Texas, California, Oklahoma and North Carolina with business friendly policies. [US renewable energy sector in focus – facts & figures]
In Oklahoma, Power Purchase Agreements signed reached 326MW, California 555MW, Texas 1GW and North Carolina 391MW while Ohio only signed two PPAs amounting to 102MW in 2015.
Over US$44 bn was invested in the US renewable energy sector in 2015 alone which would also have been directed towards investments in Ohio regarding the RPS was still in place.
Large US corporations are increasingly seeking to implement renewable sources to operate with clean energy and reduce carbon emissions.
3.44GW of renewable energy and renewable energy facilities were purchased by corporations in 2015, up from 1.18GW in 2014.
With Amazon building a number of data centres which it will want to power with renewable energy, how will the firm manage to get licences for the construction of the construction of its 100MW wind farm in Ohio?
The report predicts that the abandonment of a single 200MW wind project would result in a loss of US$126.7m in economic activity, US$4.3m in property tax revenue, US$600.000 in annual lease payments, US$167,000 in sales tax revenue and over 100 construction jobs. [Smart energy firm partners with Texas utility on solar projects].
Continued implementation of the two policies are predicted will result in the state failing to reach its targets of carbon emissions reduction.
Whilst compliance with the RPS will attract more than US$25,61 bn in investments and tangible economic benefits including US$5,3 bn increase in economic activity which would rise to US$322.7m annually after construction, US$16.8m in annual lease payments, US$2,22bn in wages paid which would rise to US$78,9m annually after construction.
Image credit: theenergycollective.com.