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Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?

March 30. 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - While the green industry continues to bloom in Ohio, a new report finds the United States as a whole is falling behind in the global clean-energy race.

The U.S. maintained the top spot until 2008, according to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts, but fell in 2010 to third behind China and Germany. Andrew Thomas, executive in residence at Cleveland State University's Energy Policy Center, says the study shows that those who invest create more clean-energy jobs.

"All of the different technologies we've been working on in Ohio, especially the distributed-generation technologies like fuel cells, wind and solar, are really important to the creation of jobs in Ohio - but we still need to have policies that drive this."

Ohio's Renewable Portfolio Standard created in Senate Bill 221 and the Third Frontier Initiative have helped to foster the state's privately advanced energy sector, Thomas says, but better policies are needed as incentives for private investments in clean energy here and across the country in order to increase demand.

Stefanie Spear, president of Expedite Renewable Energy in Chagrin Falls, says the green industry is growing in Ohio, but stronger clean-energy policies are needed to continue that growth.

"Incentives as well as policy plays an enormous role in the future of renewable energy throughout the nation as well as in Ohio. And it's critical we have our policymakers supporting strong energy policy."

Daniel Troth, president of GreenTech Construction in Delaware, Ohio, says the clean-energy industry is a job generator, adding that with better policies, demand for energy-efficient construction would increase.

"I support everything that we can do to help bring green-energy jobs to Ohio. For me as a company, the primary emphasis is on building an energy-efficient home that far surpasses building codes that are currently in place."

Globally, clean-energy finance and investments grew by 30 percent in 2010 to a record $243 billion.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH