Green energy cheapest

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are proving to be the lowest cost options to meet the growing electricity demands for the sta
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are proving to be the lowest cost options to meet the growing electricity demands for the state. At costs that are well below those of new generation facilities using traditional supplies, renewable energy is a sensible solution for Ohio's energy future.

Renewable resources like wind have projected consumer costs of 4.9 cents/kilowatt-hour. New generation from a clean coal plant with carbon capture has a projected consumer cost exceeding 10 cents/kilowatt-hour and could potentially cost as much as 17 cents/kilowatt-hour under the latest estimates. Implementing energy efficiency is the cheapest option available at a projected consumer cost of 3.2 cents/kilowatt-hour; and could fall to costs as low as 1.3 cents/kilowatt-hour.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency are two important components to our energy independence. While the cost of new coal, natural gas and nuclear generation keeps going up, renewable energy is a declining cost industry. Technological advances for renewable energy along with increased production of these facilities will combine for results that are significantly cheaper than other new generation options.

Renewable energy also has a fuel and emissions free advantage. These two factors alone will divert many of the costly mandates that would otherwise be passed on to consumers to pay.

As the Ohio House of Representatives works on legislation for Ohio's energy future, capturing the untapped potential of green energy as well as utilizing technologies that help reduce consumers' electricity consumption is a must. House Bill 487 will help achieve this. The bill will bring renewable energy sources into the electric fold and will help reduce consumers' current usage by 22 percent through energy efficiency. The inclusion of mandates and penalties into the bill also are an important part to ensure progress is made. The goals of HB 487 will help ensure a diverse energy portfolio and assure affordable and stable rates for consumers.

Janine Migden-Ostrander

Ohio Consumers' Counsel