The EPA’s Clean Power Plan gives Ohio an innovative way to not just reduce carbon emissions, but also create jobs, attract businesses, and even lower energy prices.
The EPA built freedom and flexibility into its Clean Power Plan. Ohio has the freedom to create their own carbon-emission reduction plan — they even get two years to do so. Ohio also has the freedom to meet the CPP’s 28 percent carbon-emission reduction within 15 years. Ohio has plenty of time to work with policymakers and the private sector to forge innovative and creative solutions.
The Dayton area is at the cutting-edge of clean tech. The University of Dayton Engineer School’s Renewable and Clean Energy program is at the forefront of educating the next generation of engineers to design, develop and implement renewable energy sources. UD has also launched the Hanley Sustainability Institute to create innovating learning systems focused on sustainability initiatives and the university has financially divested from all fossil fuel interests.
Business leaders across the Dayton agree that renewable energy can help businesses cut costs and create jobs, a key theme that emerged in a regional discussion about the future of energy in Ohio earlier this year, sponsored by the Ohio Energy Future Tour. However, stable energy policy is necessary for long-term planning and investment. Ohio has a policy that provided this stability for clean energy investment. Unfortunately, the Ohio General Assembly put that framework on hold last year. The CPP framework flexibility, which allows states to use existing policies, is just another reason Ohio policymakers need to reinstate the renewable portfolio standard.
Furthermore, if Ohio were to turn to more renewable energy to help meet the CPP’s carbon-reduction goal, more jobs and tax revenue would be created. The U.S. Department of Energy’s 2012 Renewable Electricity Futures study found that, “Ohio has the potential to deploy as much as 18,823 megawatts (mw) of additional installed renewable electricity capacity by 2030 — enough to supply over 40 percent of overall state electricity use. The report further found that by adopting more renewable energy sources, Ohio would “create nearly 100,000 additional jobs and $5 billion more in wages and benefits.”
Companies, when looking to expand their operations, want a hospitable business environment. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan can move states in a direction to create attractive offerings for businesses of any size. In fact, it’s the large tech-based businesses like Amazon, Google and Facebook who want to use renewable energy to power their data centers. If Ohio were to make a commitment to providing renewable energy, it would have an easier time attracting businesses that could provide long-term and stable jobs.
Our company, Kastle Solar, is just one of the many in Ohio that designs, installs, and maintains solar power systems, and we expect to grow our business as a result of the Clean Power Plan.
The Kastle Group is comprised of Kastle Electric Company, Kastle Plus service division, Kastle Solar located in Moraine, Ohio, Kastle Technologies headquartered in Monroe with offices in Columbus. The company has been in business for 90 years in the Dayton-area market.
The CPP provides a destination, but it is up to Ohio to choose its path. My company and I are confident that Ohio can work with businesses to come up with creative and innovative renewable energy solutions that can benefit all Ohioans.
Mark Wiley, president of Kastle Solar, LLC