OHIO

OHIO

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.

Climate Change: How it impacts Ohio farmers

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Dayton pledges transition to renewable sources on eve of Earth Day

06/16/21
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.

Upper Arlington’s Wind-energy Deal Latest In Series Of Environmental Sustainability Initiatives

04/30/21
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…

Preparing for Climate Change in Ohio

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Ohio is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

KEY RESOURCES

Ohio Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
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 State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/15/21
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…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
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 National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
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.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
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.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Ohio

09/19/20
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.

CLEAN ENERGY

09/15/20
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…

Environmental Law and Policy Center

09/15/20
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…

What Climate Change Means for Ohio

09/15/20
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…

Ohio Inland Flooding

09/15/20
In Ohio, nearly 400,000 people are living in areas at elevated risk of inland flooding.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Ohio

08/06/20
Ohio climate and energy facts

RENEWABLES

04/19/20
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…

BUILDING OHIO’S RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE

04/19/20
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…

Choosing a Renewable Energy System and Installer

04/17/20
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…

Ohio Voters Support a Green Energy Future

04/17/20
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

04/17/20
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…

Renewables on the Rise 2018

04/17/20
A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future.

MORE NEWS

‘Volatile place.’ New laws thwart Ohio renewables

By Jeffery Tomich  Photo: Shannon Stapleton , Reuters   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.

Amendment could bolster county position on proposed large solar array farm

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.

Could it happen here? Ohio officials discuss deadly Tennessee flooding

By Dean Narciso  Photo: Andrew Nelles , The Tennessean   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.

What A Changing Climate Means For Ohio’s Agriculture Industry

By Ann Fischer  Photo: Jean Beaufort , Public Domain Pictures   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.

Climate change on the Great Lakes has coastal communities bracing for higher water

By Peter Krouse   08/20/21  
 Great Lakes coastal communities are wondering if their shoreline infrastructure will survive another round of record high water.

Dangerous summer heat in Columbus and Ohio predicted to worsen as climate changes

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.

Energy Efficiency Incentives Could Return Under Ohio Bill

08/17/21  
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.

‘Building back better,’ if done right, will boost Ohio jobs, address climate change: Dan Troy

Photo: Joel Bissell   08/04/21  
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…

Inside Clean Energy: Ohio Shows Hostility to Clean Energy. Again

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Justin Merriman , Getty Images   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.

‘Building back better,’ if done right, will boost Ohio jobs, address climate change: Dan Troy

By Andrea Germanos  Photo: Kevin Dietsch , Getty Images   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…

How misinformation propped up Ohio lawmakers’ latest attack on renewables

By Kathiann M. Kowalski  Photo: Steven Miller , Creative Commons   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…

Green Infrastructure: Cities around the Great Lakes plan for a changing future

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…

Ohio transit agencies debut electric buses, but funding is needed for more efforts

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.

Opinion: Bill aims to strip away water safeguards and hang Ohioans out to dry

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…

Ohio makes progress on wetlands projects

Photo: Tom Henry   05/14/21  
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…

‘A cleaner future.’ Officials break ground on Cincinnati’s massive new solar array project

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.

Ohio industry, business groups want specifics in Biden’s climate plan

By J.D. Davidson  Photo: Evan Vucci/AP   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…

Gov. Mike dewine’s lame anti-littering campaign is a distraction from his support for dirty coal plants: leila atassi

By Leila Atassi  Photo: Lisa DeJong/The Plain Deale   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…

Ohio Climate Justice Fund seeks to move Ohio toward a just and inclusive clean energy economy

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…

Ohio Waives Clean Water Act 401 Certification for 16 Nationwide Permits

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…

Local government breaks with state in climate change fight

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…

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association endorses Agriculture Resilience Act

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.

AEP to supply Ohio battery maker with renewable energy

By Plamena Tisheva  Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture   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 Brings Solar and Storage to Ohio and North Carolina

04/20/21  
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…

Utility and fossil fuel interests still ahead in Ohio under House Bill 6

By Kathiann M. Kowalski  Photo: Mark / Creative Commons   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.

Athens officials, residents react to potentially controversial Ohio Senate bill

By Colleen McLafferty  Photo: Olivia Juenger   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…

Solar energy ready to take over Ohio if lawmakers would let it

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…

Biden pledges action to curb climate change

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.

Cincinnati as climate change haven? Some transplants and city officials think so

By Nick Swartsell  Photo 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.

Poking the wind power dragon in ohio, one factory at a time

By Tina Casey  Photo by One Energy   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…

OHIO’s Jason Trembly awarded $1 million in grants for Sustainable Construction Materials

01/22/21  
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…

Biden executive orders raise concerns for oil and gas production

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…

1,000-acre solar farm in Madison County lands approval

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.

Locals share climate change goals, urge U.S. Senator to push Appalachian infrastructure support

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.

Clean Energy Advocates Hope Biden Will Change The Game In Ohio

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.

Ohio communities plot a future without large coal plants

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)

Power plant communities look toward a future beyond coal

By Beth Burger  Photo by Joshua A. Bickel   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.

Ohio clean energy foe at forefront of key points in bailout law, ratification efforts

By Kathiann M. Kowalski  Photo by Joshua A. Bickel   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.”

Smart Columbus, Partners Redouble Green Energy Efforts

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.

Sunny days ahead for Ohio solar farm developers; nearly 2 dozen projects in the works

By Beth Burger and Mark Williams  Photo by Albert Cesare   12/28/20  
Blocked from developing more wind power in Ohio, renewable energy companies have set their sights on the sun.

Ohio environmental groups hold virtual hearings over House Bill 6 repeal

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…

Rep. Tim Ryan, Tom Steyer, union leaders talk ‘clean energy’ jobs in Biden climate plan

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.

Voters to decide on ‘energy ballot issue,’ allowing Columbus more control over energy

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…

PERI Releases Pair of New Studies Detailing Clean Energy Job Growth Programs for Ohio and Pennsylvania

10/21/20  
UMass Amherst institute proposes a recovery program as a counterforce against the region’s economic collapse while building a foundation for long-term recovery.

Multi-state Ohio River Basin plan unveiled to boost the economy, restore the environment

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.

Ohio’s Beaches Get ‘F’ Grade On New Report

By Chris Mosby  Photo by Rick Uldricks   10/21/20  
Ohio's stretch of Great Lakes beaches received an "F" grade in a new report. The Surfrider Foundation's annual State of the Beach report issues letter grades (like a school report card) to beaches across the…

There’s a burning mandate for change, green jobs

By George Miller   10/21/20  
It shouldn’t take raging wildfires and blood-red skies over America’s western coast to break through the noise and force a national reckoning with the climate crisis. But that’s exactly what’s happening.  

Study Finds Some Communities Disproportionately Impacted By Heat

By Michael Monks  Photo by Michael E. Keating   10/20/20  
Extreme heat, flooding and worsened air quality will be the most deadly and costly effects of climate change, according to the National Climate Assessment. And these impacts will not affect neighborhoods equally.

Nonprofit Shares Importance of Water Conservation

By Taylor Bruck   10/19/20  
Water is life for everyone and everything in this world. With the urgency of climate change, water guru Erin Huber doesn’t take it for granted.

Ohio healthcare professionals join call for HB 6 repeal

Kathiann M. Kowalski   10/19/20  
A statewide group of healthcare clinicians has joined the list of those calling for a swift repeal of the Ohio coal and nuclear bailout law at the center of an alleged dark money conspiracy.