The Ohio Legislature must not pitch billions more taxpayer dollars down the atomic rat hole.
Instead—-without spending a single cent—-it can make the Buckeye State the hugely profitable world capital of wind power.
It can be done with the simple deletion of a single sentence in the Ohio code.
It can quickly and simply, without public subsidies, open the door to billions in private investment, creating millions in revenues and thousands of new jobs for the entire nation, with Ohio at the Heart of it All.
Investment in nuclear power has a long, sorry history. Throughout their existence, atomic reactor projects have come in years late and billions over budget, with delivered power costs far in excess of original promises.
The latest case in point is the Vogtle Project in Georgia, two reactor construction efforts that wasted $12 billion in federal loans and are now scheduled to open years behind schedule, at a cost more than double original promises. Under no circumstances will Vogtle ever compete with solar, wind, battery or efficiency technologies.
So-called “advanced” reactors will be no different. They are years away from operation, with production schedules sure to slip as true costs skyrocket. There is no credible scenario by which they will ever compete with renewable energy.
But for years now at least $4 billion in private investment has been blocked out of northern Ohio by a single “set back clause” in the Ohio Code.
This clause has no ecological, economic or human health benefits. By requiring impossible, irrational siting standards for wind projects that are proliferating throughout the globe, it has prevented the deployment of safe, proven, immensely profitable wind turbines that could transform the state into an unparalleled economic powerhouse.
The hundreds of square miles just south of Lake Erie are ideal for wind power development. The region is flat, fertile and graced with steady breezes. Farmers in the region stand to make millions by very profitably leasing sites for turbines that only slightly impinge on their ability to grow crops.
The region is ideal because the sites are near the cities where the power will be bought. A substantial network of transmission lines is already in place.
As much as $4 billion in private turbine investment was ready to go before the setback clause killed the industry. Billions in revenue and thousands of jobs have been senselessly lost. Billions more in avoidable electricity costs have been imposed on Ohio industry and individual rate payers, to the enormous detriment of the state’s overall economy.
The technology involved in bringing wind power to northern Ohio is known, proven and has for decades attracted tens of billions in private investments worldwide. Its prospects continue to rise.
The first large-scale wind turbine to generate electricity was built in Cleveland in the 1880s by Charles Brush. With its skilled workforce and long history as an industrial center, the flood of industrial wind turbines into the North Coast could put Cleveland at the heart of the booming global wind industry.
The business would be hugely enhanced by the pending boom in offshore turbines in Lake Erie, long known to be one of the most powerful concentrated wind energy sites on the planet.
Should the money slated to be squandered on the virtually certain failure of advanced nuclear be instead devoted to the rapid advancement of wind power in the Great Lakes, with turbine production focussed in Cleveland, the entire economy of the state could be rapidly transformed.
The choice is obvious:
With the stroke of an eraser, the Legislature can open the floodgates for billions of dollars in on-shore wind development, creating thousands of jobs, massive revenues for Ohio farmers and saving billions in electric rates.
It can also make Cleveland a hugely prosperous hub for turbine production by opening Lake Erie to deployment of wind generating technologies, with a massive industrial rebirth all along the shore.
Ohio can opt for obsolete, failed nuclear technologies….or it can join the future with wind machines that everywhere on Earth are attracting far more invested capital.
Instead of writing gargantuan checks for public money…it can start by eradicating a simple sentence in the Ohio Code, at no cost to a single Ohio taxpayer or ratepayer.
Just do it!
Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH