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 Dan Gearino 05/31/23
“You can say gravity isn't true, but if you step off the cliff, you’re going down,” says climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe about restrictions on teaching.
By Mark Williams 05/16/23
The company behind what would be one of the biggest solar farms in the country is making its case this week for why the project should be approved by Ohio regulators, and gained support from…
By Taylor Bruck 05/15/23
“Outside of the country of China per capita, this is the most amount of solar manufacturer, manufacturing in the world,” said Aaron Bates, the CEO of Toledo Solar.
By Emma Foehringer Merchant 05/05/23
Climate change is spurring interest in remaking local infrastructure to accommodate renewable energy, minimize power failures and expand consumer choice....
By Lester Graham 05/04/23
A federal judge has approved a consent decree to reduce phosphorus pollution going into Lake Erie.
By Charlotte Morgan 04/27/23
At a recent Global Shapers Cleveland Hub forum on Shaping the Future of Energy, the conversation centered around the Ohio’s renewable energy future, its innovators, challenges with carbon emissions and opportunities.
The U.S. GSA will invest more than $30 million as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. That investment will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs annually, cut pollution, and create…
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded two Solar Manufacturing Incubator grants totaling $16,100,000 to First Solar and Toledo Solar in Perrysburg.
By Kate Shields, Jose Stewart and Becca Duncan 04/22/23
Mother Nature spared Ohio Youth for Climate Justice from the rainstorm as 40 protesters marched across campus Saturday to demand transparency with Ohio State’s investments in fossil fuels.
By Carlos Mathis 04/20/23
The Ohio River has been named in a new report that could have impacts for years to come for residents in numerous states.
By Tim Feran 04/18/23
Most of the state has warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last century, the EPA reports. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or melting…
By Alejandro De La Garza 03/29/23
If you attend a college-level earth science class in Ohio in the coming years, you might learn about how climate change is causing heat waves, flooding, and record storms, and how humanity must rapidly forestall…
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 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 James Leggate 03/23/23
Renewable energy developer Invenergy plans to spend $220 million to build a solar panel production plant in central Ohio as demand for polysylicon photovoltaic solar equipment grows in the U.S.
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 03/23/23
Climate science is among a wide range of “controversial matters” included in the Higher Education Enhancement Act, which seeks to police classroom speech on abortion, immigration, diversity, and other issues. Ohio higher-ed bill would require…
By Baylee Sweitzer 03/08/23
Kris Swartz had a better growing season this year than he expected. He planted later than usual in the spring because it rained a lot, but dry weather in August and September gave his crops…
By Rob Moore 03/06/23
With all the drama surrounding the Householder trial for racketeering, it can be easy to forget the bill behind the former Ohio Speaker of the House’s alleged $60 million payoff from First Energy power company.
By Campbell Robertson 03/05/23
When the summer tourist season ends in Put-in-Bay, an island on Lake Erie, the residents turn to the ice for fun and to earn a living. What happens when the lake refuses to freeze?...
By Anthony Elder 02/28/23
At the recent Greater Cleveland Partnership Summit, Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability director Mike Foley championed the benefits of renewable, electricity-based energy and the danger to our current electrical grid in one breath.
By Dillon Stewart 02/28/23
With the Great Lakes region safe from much of the extreme weather the rest of the country is facing, local leaders are betting the city's future on welcoming those displaced from climate change. But Northeast…
By Kathiann M. Kowalski 02/21/23
About two decades after cadmium telluride solar panels were commercialized in Ohio, the maturing technology is finding momentum thanks in part to its domestic manufacturing and supply chain. Made-in-Ohio solar panels benefit from federal incentives,…
Thanks to a mountain of deadlines a mile high, I haven't yet been able to focus as much attention on the East Palestine train derailment as I'd like, but two things were very clear to…
Shale gas fueled a boom in the drilling industry and has provided cheaper fuel, displacing dirtier coal to generate electricity. It’s also feeding a spinoff industry in chemicals. Shell is building a multi-billion-dollar petrochemical plant…
By Robert Zullo 02/16/23
Across the country, new renewable energy development has drawn heated opposition that has birthed, in many cases, bans, moratoriums and other restrictions. ...
By Naomi Lachance 02/14/23
The oil and gas industry and its political allies are promoting the use of natural gas as a climate-friendly alternative to other harmful energy sources, ignoring its negative impacts on both the planet and public…
By Randi Pokladnik 02/10/23
According to the International Energy Agency report, solar now provides the cheapest electrical energy in the world. Major companies are investing in solar for its economic value and to lessen their impacts on the planet.
By Brian Eckhouse and Naureen S. Malik 02/07/23
The greening of red-state America, well underway in the Sun Belt, is now accelerating in the Midwest. Ohio and Indiana — two Republican-led US states long dependent on coal power — are on the verge…
Microgrid system incorporates onsite solar and battery energy storage to keep clean water flowing during grid outages
By Carly Wanna 02/06/23
Between last August, when President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill became law, and the end of January, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the US, according to an analysis released Monday…
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…
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 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…