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COLUMBUS, Ohio. – Carbon pollution equal to that produced by as many as 211,000 cars and 0.26 coal plants could be eliminated by 2020 with a moderate growth in wind power in Northern Ohio, a new report from Environment Ohio Research & Policy Center said today.
Using data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the report shows that as much as 2,287 MW of wind power could be built in the state in the next five years with the right policies in place, enough to power about 105,000 homes.
“Wind power here in Ohio can grow steadily, reducing pollution and helping to solve the climate crisis,” said Sam Gerard, Campaign Organizer with Environment Ohio. “But we need government policies to provide steady support for this clean energy resource to build our momentum in the fight against global warming.”
The report, Turning to the Wind, comes as state officials determine how to comply with the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action that sets state-by-state limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages clean energy development. Amazon recently announced plans to build a large wind farm in Paulding County that will be completed in 2017, which means Ohioans will be able to see more benefits of clean power.
The analysis is also timed with what’s become an annual tradition in Congress: waiting until the last minute to renew critical tax incentives for clean energy. The credits, which have helped spur wind power’s growth over the last two decades, expired at the end of last year, and any measure to reinstate them must be adopted before Congress adjourns for the year on December 18.
The report shows wind energy now supplies enough energy to power 105,000 homes, producing enough energy to reduce carbon pollution from 211,000 cars and 0.26 coal-firing power plants since 2001. Wind power produced across the U.S. since 2001 has displaced more than 764 million metric tons of carbon dioxide – more than a year’s worth of carbon emissions from the entire country of Canada.
As world leaders meet in Paris to hammer out an international agreement to slash climate-changing emissions, environmental advocates said wind power should play a critical role.
“To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Gerard, “and that must include doing everything we can to develop abundant, pollution-free wind power.”