Solar and other renewable energy sources are increasingly recognized for their potential to save money for Ohio's cities. Dr. Parwinder Grewal, the director of OSU's Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development, found in a recent study that "increased urban energy self-sufficiency would add between $28.7 million and $1.76 billion to Cleveland's economy annually."
The study Can Cities Become Self-Reliant in Energy? A Technological Scenario Analysis for Cleveland, Ohio was published in the online journal Cities last June, but recently drew additional attention when it was featured in the Columbus Dispatch.
"Applying the concept of self-reliance, we found that while nearly all of Cleveland's energy is currently imported, this city has the potential to meet a lot of its electricity and fuel demands using local, renewable sources," said Parwinder Grewal, a professor and Distinguished Research Scholar who is also a specialist with Ohio State University Extension.
"Cities occupy only 3 percent of the Earth's surface, yet they consume 75 percent of total global energy and produce 80 percent of all greenhouse emissions. Typically all of this energy is produced elsewhere and imported by cities, weakening their control over their own economies and also threatening their environmental sustainability."OSU Press Release
The study considered four different scenarios for increasing electric generation from renewable sources and estimated potential positive economic impacts. Specifically, it began by considering the potential impacts from completion of the proposed 20 MW municipal solid waste to energy facility by the Cleveland Public Power system and a 20 MW offshore wind project by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo.). The study then continued the analysis by considering larger contributions from wind, solar energy and biofuels.