The first humans to inhabit what today is known as Ohio were hunter-gatherers who lived at least 13 thousand years ago. More recently, but prior to European colonization, Native American tribes including the Erie, Kickapoo, and Shawnee tribes called the state’s 41 thousand square miles home. Today, over 11.5 million people live in Ohio much of which is covered by the Appalachian Plateau, which boasts terrain more rugged than the low-lying Great Lakes Plains of Ohio’s northern region.
Climate change is threatening Ohio’s water systems. Over 400 thousand people live in areas that are at an elevated risk of flooding. The number of heavy downpours per year has increased steadily since 1950, and rainfall during the four wettest days of the year has increased about 35% in the last 50 years. Warmer waters also affect the water quality of Lake Erie, which 12 million people—and many Ohioans—depend on for drinking water. Algae blooms more readily both in warm water and after severe storms when pollutants increase that run off from land into the lake. It got so bad in 2014, that an algae bloom in Lake Erie prompted the city of Toledo to ban drinking and cooking with tap water.
Between 2012 and 2019, Ohio’s natural gas production increased by more than 30 times, almost entirely due to Utica Shale. Ohio continues to rely heavily on coal, and 2019 was the first year that natural gas generated more of Ohio’s in-state electricity than coal even as its natural gas production was down in 2020, which can likely be attributed to the economic crisis prompted by Covid-19 (8). Ohio is one of the top ten coal-consuming states and more than three times as much coal is consumed in Ohio than is produced. Renewable energy accounts for almost 3% of Ohio’s electricity generation, 60% of which is wind energy.
In 2008, the Ohio General Assembly established the Renewable Portfolio Standard for Ohio-owned utilities and any competitive electrical seller in the state, mandating that these companies must source 12.5% of their portfolio from renewable resources. A 2019 bill signed by Governor DeWine decreased that standard to 8.5%, an extremely disappointing development for those advocating for a transition to a renewable economy. On the positive side, in September, 2020, Ohio has approved North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project — six wind-turbines to be installed in Lake Erie — clearing a major hurdle. With some details still to be worked out regarding mitigating harm to animals, the farm is scheduled to be operational by 2022.
Ohio has not developed a state-wide climate adaptation plan. However, individual cities like Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati all, principally in 2018, have developed their own various climate adaptation plans.
By Maxine Joselow 01/17/23
Conservative groups helped Ohio lawmakers push the narrative that the fuel is clean, documents show. They are taking their campaign to other states.
By Dan Gearino 11/29/22
When Michael Wildermuth was growing up here, the snow sometimes had black specks in it because of pollution from the city’s heavy industry.
By Ethan Howland 08/11/22
The Supreme Court of Ohio Wednesday upheld a permit for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker wind farm, a demonstration project that is poised to be the first freshwater wind farm in the United States. In a 6-1…
By Dan Gearino 07/29/22
Ohio—Mark Schein sings from the back row, aware that many of the people in the other pews view him as their enemy.His wife, Toni, stands by his side, but the rows around them are all…
By Maeve Walsh 07/28/22
If climate change were a landlord, it would charge the city of Columbus exorbitant rent in coming years. A July report from the Ohio Environmental Council found that combating the effects of climate change, whether…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 05/25/22
Government and community groups in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati have recently used one particularly robust tool called the Greenlink Equity Map, or GEM, platform. Its maps let users see the intersections among roughly three dozen…
By Reid Frazier 05/02/22
At an industrial site on the banks of the Ohio River, Vance Powers pointed to a brand new building – a big blue box with pipes coming in and out of it.
By Jake Zuckerman 04/29/22
An association of natural gas, transportation and tech businesses are pushing for a piece of an $8 billion federal investment to create a “clean hydrogen hub” in Ohio. Hydrogen, the most abundant chemical element in…
By Robert Bryce 04/29/22
The rejections of large-scale wind projects continue. On Tuesday, county commissioners in Otoe County, Nebraska voted to impose a one-year moratorium on applications for wind projects. The vote in Otoe County is the fifth rejection…
By Tom Henry 04/27/22
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on a proposal to build a 129.6-megawatt solar energy field across 610 acres in rural Hancock County’s Washington Township north of Arcadia, Ohio.
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 04/26/22
Major weather events accounted for more than a third of the time Ohio customers of regulated electric utilities went without power last year, according to an Energy News Network review of data filed with state…
Developing a Hydrogen Economy in Ohio: Challenges and Opportunities, a comprehensive study released today by JobsOhio and the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA), asserts that Ohio is poised to become a leader in the…
PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES
Dayton’s elected leaders have declared a “climate emergency” and pledged to transition electric consumption in the city to all renewable sources in coming decades.
The city of Upper Arlington has completed the latest step in its effort to achieve "zero waste, zero pollution and zero emissions by 2030." City Manager Steve Schoeny authorized the city to enter into a…
This page provides an overview of the steps Ohio is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Ohio is home to a growing solar market, as more homeowners recognize the benefits of going green. With solar costs falling 43 percent over the past five years, experts anticipate a strong growth projection for…
Ohio is a highly industrialized state that has abundant natural resources. Named after the river that forms its southern boundary, Ohio is a Great Lakes state bordered on the north by Lake Erie, the eleventh-largest…
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.
Between 2017 and 2019, Ohio experienced two severe floods and seven severe storms. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.
In 2008, the Ohio General Assembly established the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for Ohio’s investor-owned distribution utilities and any competitive electric supplier in the state. The standard requires these sellers of electricity to ensure that…
Often dubbed the “Walleye Capital of the World,” Lake Erie has a prominent place in the hearts of Midwesterners. It is the southernmost Great Lake with shores in several states, including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New…
Ohio’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or…
In Ohio, nearly 400,000 people are living in areas at elevated risk of inland flooding.
Ohio climate and energy facts
Buckeye Power and its 24 member co-ops are committed to safe, reliable, affordable, and economically sustainable power production that is also environmentally responsible. Ohio’s co-ops take a balanced approach to renewable energy. While we continue…
It’s time for Ohio to invest in our future and act on climate. Relying on fossil fuels to produce electricity – such as coal, oil, and natural gas – exposes our communities to dangerous pollution…
The first step in any home or business energy conservation effort should be to implement methods to reduce your current energy consumption and make your home or business energy efficient. Once you have conducted an…
Despite policymakers continued attempts to stifle Ohio’s renewable energy economy, a representative survey conducted by Climate Nexus, Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found…
Renewable energy derives power from naturally and consistently occurring resources such as sunlight, wind, waves, and tides, the running water of a river, or the natural heat of the earth. Electricity or heat energy generated…
A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future.
By Tim Sylvia 04/20/22
The Ohio Power Siting Board has set dates to hold two local public hearings regarding some of the largest renewable energy projects ever proposed in the state: the 200 MW Palomino Solar Energy Project and…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 04/18/22
It has been three years since Ohio lawmakers first introduced the power plant bailout legislation that is now at the heart of the largest corruption case in state history.
By Diana Kruzman 04/12/22
In mid-March, about 80 people gathered in the auditorium of a local high school in Licking County, Ohio, a rural area about 40 minutes outside the state capital. The public hearing, set up to discuss…
By Ben Orner 09/10/21
It’s a yearly occurrence along Ohio’s northern shoreline: expansive masses of algae turn Lake Erie’s usual indigo color to a crude green, as if there had been an oil spill of pea soup.
By Jeanne Wahlen 09/08/21
On the outskirts of Toledo, a short drive from Interstate 90, thousands of glass panels rumble along assembly lines at a factory that will help determine whether the Biden administration can meet two of its…
By Jeffery Tomich 09/05/21
The battle to control Ohio’s energy mix has been noisy and partisan since 2008, when the Legislature adopted an alternative energy standard.
By London Bishop 08/30/21
A land use amendment could bolster the commissioners' position with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OSPB) as they consider approving a controversial utility-scale solar facility in Greene County.
By Dean Narciso 08/25/21
As the tragic images emerged of homes splintered and swept away, cars stacked like toys and families grieving human loss in a small Tennessee community, Ohio emergency management directors watched in horror.
By Ann Fischer 08/24/21
Scientists in early August released a dire report, dubbed a “code red for humanity” by the United Nations, which unequivocally states that humans are causing climate change.
By Peter Krouse 08/20/21
Great Lakes coastal communities are wondering if their shoreline infrastructure will survive another round of record high water.
By Ben Orner 08/17/21
It’s not the heat or the humidity. It’s the combination of the two that will turn Columbus summers stifling, dangerous and unrecognizable as our planet heats up in the coming decades.
A bipartisan bill in the Ohio Legislature would once again allow power companies to offer energy efficiency programs such as smart thermostats or appliance rebates.
Following through on one of President Biden’s key campaign promises to beef up American infrastructure, the U.S. Senate voted last week to move forward with a bipartisan infrastructure bill. While there is still plenty of…
By Dan Gearino 07/22/21
A new Ohio law solidifies the state’s reputation for stifling clean energy industries. And the law may well be an economic development victory for places that stand to gain projects Ohio chases away.
By Andrea Germanos 07/19/21
Amid a sustained push for the inclusion of a Civilian Climate Corps in federal infrastructure legislation, the Sunrise Movement on Monday rolled out a new tool showcasing the potential for over 15 million jobs that simultaneously tackle economic inequality and…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 07/07/21
False and unsubstantiated claims about renewable energy have flourished for years, but critics say different forms of misinformation played a big role in Ohio lawmakers’ latest move to stifle the growth of wind and solar…
By Andrew Blok 05/18/21
Water ran from a fire hydrant, down the street and into a recently redesigned street median in Detroit last week. It was both unassuming and a demonstration of the city’s single largest investment in green…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 05/18/21
Two Ohio transit systems will roll out their first electric battery buses this year as the state’s senior U.S. senator pitches a $73 billion plan to accelerate zero-emission transit vehicles across the country.
By S. Mažeika P. Sullivan 05/14/21
A bill making its way around the Statehouse seeks to remove pollution control for a large swath of Ohio streams and wetlands. If House Bill 175 is passed, Ohio water safeguards would align with the new…
An Ohio Department of Natural Resources official who manages Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio wetlands program said Wednesday he is pleased with the progress being made with that program’s 57 projects aimed at creating, restoring or…
By Briana Rice 05/13/21
In an open field in Highland County, typically used for soybean and corn, Cincinnati leaders and partners broke ground on what officials are calling the largest municipal solar array in the country.
By J.D. Davidson 04/29/21
As states, business groups, energy producers and other industry groups show concern over President Joe Biden’s climate plan, Ohio organizations want more specifics and believe cooperation is needed. Biden has announced a plan that contained…
By Leila Atassi 04/28/21
On April 22, Earth Day, President Joe Biden committed the United States to cutting emissions by half by the end of the decade and seeking to end investments in fossil fuel projects abroad, in an…
By Ohio Climate Justice Fund 04/26/21
Today, a diverse group of advocates joined together to launch the Ohio Climate Justice Fund (OCJF), an emerging initiative that will invest in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) organizations in Ohio, working at the…
By Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP 04/25/21
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently determined that Ohio waived its right to issue a water quality certification (WQC) under section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the 16 new Nationwide Permits (NWPs) that…
By Molly Martinez 04/25/21
Tucked behind a parking lot off a busy street in Cuyahoga County, 35,000 solar panels are busy at work powering over 800 homes and city buildings. Tristan Rader, who sits on the Lakewood City Council…
By Industry Press Release 04/23/21
Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA) in Congress, which outlines a farmer-focused, research-driven path to net zero agriculture.
By Plamena Tisheva 04/21/21
Electricity and natural gas supplier AEP Energy, part of American Electric Power (NASDAQ:AEP), said on Monday it will provide locally-sourced renewable energy to Crown Battery Manufacturing Company in northwestern Ohio. The two companies have signed…
Sunnova Energy International Inc., one of the leading U.S. residential solar and storage service providers, announced today it will begin offering its services in Ohio and North Carolina. Both states will have access to Sunnova’s…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 04/19/21
Utilities, fossil fuel interests and nuclear plants are still reaping advantages over clean energy in Ohio, despite last month’s repeal of part of the law at the heart of an alleged $60 million corruption scandal.
By Colleen McLafferty 04/18/21
A new Ohio Senate bill would allow townships to approve or deny neighboring renewable energy sources like solar or wind. Senate Bill 52, sponsored by Representatives Bill Reineke and Rob McColley, would require those looking…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski Ohio 03/31/21
Solar energy is poised to challenge nuclear power as the third-largest source of electricity generation in Ohio, according to a new analysis. The Buckeye state is in the midst of a solar boom, with dozens…
By Chris Stewart 01/27/21
President Joe Biden’s moves to enact policies meant to address climate change have Miami Valley clean power and sustainability experts optimistic but other groups concerned they will put a drag on the local economy.
By Nick Swartsell 01/26/21
We've all heard the story: people streaming out of Midwestern cities for the sunnier climes and bustling activity of America's sunbelt and coastal areas.
By Tina Casey 01/25/21
The great state of Ohio is a day late and a dollar short to the wind power revolution, and last year’s passage of the notorious HB 6 energy bill didn’t help matters much. Nevertheless, CleanTechnica did come…
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced $8.7 million in awards to "Develop Emerging Carbon-Based Building and Construction Materials," with OHIO's Jason Trembly receiving two $500,000 grants for two separate projects focused on addressing climate…
By Mitchell Blahut and Todd Baucher 01/22/21
President Joe Biden says “we can’t wait any longer” to address the climate crisis, and that’s driving his ambitious effort to stave off the worst effects of global warming. He’s issued executive orders to cut…
By Tristan Navera 01/22/21
The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved a solar farm that will encompass nearly 1,000 acres of Madison County.
By Susan Tebben 01/20/21
As the tide changes in Congress, public policy advocates, environmental experts and residents of Appalachia made their cases to one of Ohio’s U.S. senators to do more on climate change and the Appalachian business infrastructure.
By Nick Castele 01/20/21
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to spend $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years to fight climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions nationwide.
By Andy Balaskovitz 01/20/21
SOLAR: A new online marketplace hopes to accelerate community solar development by connecting developers and potential subscribers in nine states, including Illinois and Minnesota. (Energy News Network)
By Beth Burger 01/18/21
Not many people call Cheshire, Ohio, home now. Nearly 20 years ago, bulldozers sent by a utility company razed most of its homes in the small Appalachian village along the Ohio River.
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 01/06/21
House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz called the law at the heart of an alleged corruption case “the best energy bill we ever passed.”
By Skip Descant 01/04/21
The push to get more electric vehicles on Columbus, Ohio, roads and highways is also prompting a look at where all that energy will come from.
By Beth Burger and Mark Williams 12/28/20
Blocked from developing more wind power in Ohio, renewable energy companies have set their sights on the sun.
By Mark Williams 10/21/20
Ohio environmental groups want to keep the pressure on legislators to repeal scandal-plagued House Bill 6 that bails out the state's two nuclear power plants. The groups have scheduled three virtual public hearings over the…
By Rick Rouan 10/21/20
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s plan to address climate change also would set up the U.S. for a new wave of union jobs, organized labor leaders said during a digital campaign event Tuesday.
By Alexis Moberger 10/21/20
Clean energy is now on the Columbus ballot and city leaders hope voters can help it pass this election. Issue 1 advocates for "community choice aggregation.” Essentially it would allow city government to obtain power…
UMass Amherst institute proposes a recovery program as a counterforce against the region’s economic collapse while building a foundation for long-term recovery.
By Julia Fair 10/21/20
Human activity along the Ohio River reduced wildlife habitats that contributed to more than 600 species becoming threatened or endangered, according to a report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.