Delayed Renewable Energy Mandates Could Hurt Investment

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Jereme Kent, CEO of One Energy, says delaying changes to Ohio's renewable energy mandates will create a "lobbying frenzy" in the state.(Photo: Flickr)
Jereme Kent, CEO of One Energy, says delaying changes to Ohio's renewable energy mandates will create a "lobbying frenzy" in the state.(Photo: Flickr)

A bill to freeze Ohio’s current renewable energy standards now sits with Governor John Kasich, who’s expected to sign it.

The bill would put off the state’s incoming alternative energy mandates for two years as a new state commission studies the issue. It’s been heavily criticized by wind and solar energy executives, including Jereme Kent, the general manager at Findlay-based wind energy company One Energy.

Kent worries that putting off the clean energy mandate will scare away potential investors, and that because of this, the next two years will be subject to intense lobbying.

“The first message that it sends is that everything Ohio has promised and done in the past to encourage major investment in renewable energy is now up for grabs and subject to change. That scares anyone who is looking at spending 100 million dollars or half a billion dollars investing in this state,” Kent said. “It’s a slowdown of the time table, the issue is the way it’s framed with the freeze, where everybody knows its going to be at two year lobbying fest.”

Kent also related that he feels that utility companies shouldn’t worry about immediate costs.

“Utilities aren’t incurring any costs, the utilities are just being required to start thinking long term, and that’s a very frustrating proposition for utilities who get to mark up whatever the market price is and bill their customers, the average Ohioan and average Ohio business for it.”

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