Cincinnati Could Have 100% Clean Energy

The city of Cincinnati (pop. 296,000) is exploring a new power portfolio that could result in the whole city having renewable energy. Another positive development is that the new system might be finalized without adding much in costs to ratepayers, perhaps as little as a one percent increase. City officials are using an approach that worked in the city of Oak Park, Illinois where power providers were required to submit bids of the cheapest electricity and from renewables. They noted the difference wasn’t so great, so it was decided the extra cost was acceptable in light of the benefits to public health and the environment. If approved, Cincinnati’s renewable energy plan might actually be producing power by the summer of 2012.

“This is probably the biggest opportunity we’ll have over the next several years to dramatically reduce Cincinnati’s carbon footprint, ” said a city official. (Source: BizJournal)

Cincinnati currently gets about 85% of its electricity from coal. Coal-burning power plants produce large amounts of toxic air pollution which makes many people sick and is linked to many deaths each year. Using coal is not necessary though, because renewable sources like solar and wind have a very large potential there.

According to Green Energy Ohio there is enough sunlight in the state to  use solar for all residential electricity needs, “If solar panels covered one half of one percent of the entire State of Ohio, these photovoltaic arrays converting sunlight into electricity could supply Ohio’s yearly residential electricity load (43,280 million kWh).” (Source: Green Energy Ohio) Also, Ohio has one of the highest wind power potentials of any state east of the Mississippi with 66,000 megawatts.

So in the future, it is not only possible for a large city like Cincinnati to be powered entirely by renewable energy, it is possible, if not likely, the whole state could be also.

It’s too bad there isn’t more a coherent strategy for developing more renewable energy sources, rather than the federal government aiding two new nuclear reactor installations with $14 billion dollars.

Image Credit: Rdikeman

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Theodore S.
Theodore Shayne5 years ago

It's the same thing here in Toronto, ON Jeffrey. There are so many things we could do but politics and labor/management issues always delay the doable. Look at Germany. I know that they aren't the size of Canada or the US having lived in all three but if the will is there then a way can be found.

Dina B.
Dina B5 years ago


Stella Gamboni
Stella Gamboni5 years ago

Cincinnati has always had unique ways of dealing with troublesome issues. They solved the problem of airport noise and pollution by putting the Cincinnati Airport in Kentucky.

Julianna D.
Juliana D6 years ago

This sounds great.

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Kiana Siino
Kiana S6 years ago

That would be great! I hope it happens...

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton6 years ago

Good for them!

Suzana Megles
Suzana Megles6 years ago

One person saw this effort as "pie-in-the-sky" thinking. Well, whether it is or not, it should be pursued because it is better to aspire for something so seemingly wonderful, than to chuck it away as undoable. Only good things are accomplished by those who dream big. Nothing is accomplished by those who say it can't be done.

Jennifer Burns
Jennifer Burns6 years ago

Hopefully this will be a model for other cities to follow. Greener energy is good for so many reasons, including the biggest of all: so we can breathe!

Jeffrey Eric G.
Jeffrey Eric G6 years ago

You folks sound sincere, but I wish you would try to understand the Engineering involved in this decision by the planners of Cincinnati. The bottom line? At this point in time, neither Solar nor Wind is a financially sound alternative to our present elctricity supporting the grid. Today, we have coal, gas, nuclear, hydro, and to a very lesser amount of Solar, Wind, Geothermal and Biomass.
Solar & Wind need to be supported with additional Gas. There is almost no oil used for electric generation. My point is that it is too early to rely on Solar & Wind. Not yet. I'm all for it, but we need a storage device that is economical.
Cincinnati can't wave a magic wand and get it done. I hope they don't waste too much of your money on this, but.....and, I hope they don't get too much of the "free" money from Obama. either.
This is because, at this time, Solar & Wind cost too much. Or, if you don't mind paying twice as much for electricity as you do now, we'll increase the utility bills to the point where we can support Solar & Wind locally (that is, without State and Federal Bailouts).

Please stop & think about the situation before you applaud. If Cincinnati goes ahead, I look foreward to the day that they prove me wrong, but I don't think that will happen in my lifetime..