The future requires energy; even more energy than is consumed today. Global energy demands rose by 83% from 283 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 1980 to more than 507 quadrillion Btu in 2010. The 2012 International Energy Outlook Report estimates that by 2020, additional growth in worldwide energy consumption will more than double our 1980 usage and grow to 820 quadrillion Btu by 2040. Why? Much of the growth in energy consumption is occurring in developing countries, where countries with strong, established economies drive steady demand. Second only to China, the United States consumed 18% of the world energy total in 2011, and Ohio ranked as the sixth highest energy consuming state in the nation.
Why is energy development in Ohio important? The availability of affordable energy influences both economic growth and the general quality of life of Ohioans. In 2012 the average per capita energy expenditure in Ohio was $4,265, representing roughly 12 percent of Ohioans’ per capita income.
How is Extension involved in helping to ensure the availability of affordable energy? Utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, the Energize Ohio Signature Program addresses a wide range of renewable and shale energy education needs including: youth energy education, energy policy, farm energy education, homeowner energy education and sustainable community planning. Energize Ohio curriculum consists of teaching outlines, worksheets, presentation materials, workshop materials, bulletins, fact sheets, marketing templates and evaluation tools available for use by all Extension professionals. Two core initiatives are the current Energize Ohio focus: shale energy and renewable energy education.
Last year, Energize Ohio Signature Program team members engaged more than 1,900 participants in 62 programs throughout the state. New energy-related publications were developed as well, including four fact sheets, two journal articles and one technical bulletin.
Since 2012, the Energize Ohio Signature Program has reached nearly 12,000 Ohioans via 141 programs conducted in 64 of Ohio’s 88 counties. The ultimate goal of these efforts: To increase knowledge of energy drivers and development that enables best practices and informed decision-making.
For more details related to the Energize Ohio program, please view the 2014 Energize Ohio Signature Program Report.
For more information on energy trends, please view the Trend Research: Energy Sources, Demands, and Cost paper found at the FAES Conversations on the Future of Extension webpage.
(Submitted by Eric Romich, Assistant Professor and Extension Field Specialist, Energy Development)