Ohio House passes repeal of renewable energy mandate

Dive Brief:

  • The Ohio House of Representatives last week voted 65-31 to eliminate the state's renewable energy mandates. The measure, similar to one Gov. John Kasich (R) vetoed last year, now heads to the Senate.
  • Some changes have been made to the bill, including limiting the amount ratepayers will pay for energy efficiency profits that accrue to the utility.
  • In 2014, Ohio lawmakers froze renewable standards at 2.5% until this year. Prior to that, utilities in the state were on track to ramp up renewables to 25% of their power mix by 2027. The bill Kasich vetoed last year would have extended that freeze.

Dive Insight:

Republicans in the Ohio House are doggedly pursuing a rollback of the state's clean energy mandates, but the path ahead looks similar last year's failed attempt. The Associated Press reports Kasich will likely veto the bill, should the Senate approve it. And InsideClimate News reports it is unlikely to pass the Senate by a veto-proof margin.

The bill lawmakers passed last year would have eliminated renewables requirements, instead making them voluntary goals until 2019. The measure this time around is substantially the same.

The Ohio House of Representatives Republican Caucus hailed the bill in a tweet. "Replacing these often costly mandates with goals and incentives ... helps keep costs down not only for the industry, but also for consumers," they said.

Clean energy advocates argue that holding back any progress on energy conservation and renewable energy could hurt the state's economy. A Kasich spokesperson told the Columbus Dispatch that "the governor has been clear regarding the need to work with the General Assembly to craft a bill that supports a diverse mix of reliable, low-cost energy sources while preserving the gains we have made in the state's economy."

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: Wikipedia