Apr 22, 2024 - News

Ohio's surging solar power production

Data: Climate Central; Note: Includes both utility-scale and small-scale solar generation; Chart: Axios Visuals

It was a great year for solar and a bad year for wind in the Buckeye State.

By the numbers: Ohio generated 1,735 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from solar power in 2023, the ninth-straight year of an increase.

  • Electricity from wind energy has generally increased over the past decade but declined slightly last year from 3,154 GWh in 2022 to 2,828 in 2023.

Why it matters: Solar and wind power are producing a comparatively small but growing share of America's overall energy supply — yet they make up a bigger slice of the energy pie in some states compared to others.

Between the lines: Wind generation fell across the country for the first time since 2010, owing largely to unfavorable weather conditions across the Midwest.

What they're saying: Year-to-year fluctuations in weather aside, Jane Harf of Green Energy Ohio told Axios the biggest factors limiting wind production in Ohio are restrictive rules about where turbines can be built, which she says "essentially prevent new wind farms from being sited."

Reality check: Renewable energy accounted for only 8.3% of power used in Ohio in 2022, and such projects haven't been without their issues.

  • Higher interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues are spoiling the financial math of some alt-energy investments nationally, leading to headline-grabbing cancellations.
  • Blade and turbine issues have also plagued some wind energy efforts.

Yes, but: Energy from wind and solar installations is expected to outpace coal-fired electricity this year in the U.S., Axios Generate's Ben Geman has reported.

  • Major projects are still coming online, like a giant solar farm on Madison County land partially owned by Bill Gates.
  • The project had received some local resistance before getting state approval last month.

Keep reading

Energy generated by solar and wind, 2023
Data: Climate Central; Note: Includes both utility-scale and small-scale solar generation; Map: Axios Visuals
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