‘Energy prices would be even higher without them’

Don’t blame renewable energy for rising energy costs, as some media pundits have been trying to do, wrote CFAES’ Brent Sohngen in a recent column in the Columbus Dispatch. 

“Actually,” Sohngen wrote, “the only effect that renewables can have on energy markets is to lower electricity prices, which in turn will cause natural gas and coal prices to fall.”

Sohngen is a professor of environmental and resource economics in the CFAES Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics.

Read Sohngen’s column.

CFAES sustainability news, Jan. 19, 2021

No need to fear coyotes

Youngstown Vindicator, Jan. 10; research involving Stan Gehrt, School of Environment and Natural Resources, cited

Inspired by tailgaters, Ohio State students land $340,000 funding for portable ‘power as a service’ startup

Business First, Jan. 8, 2021

To the editor: Climate changes impact Ohio farmers

Toledo Blade, Jan. 4; Aaron Wilson, OSU Extension, cited

Stone Lab offers solar tech curriculum

Hey, educators: Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory at Lake Erie is offering a free STEM-related curriculum on solar technology. The program teaches about how solar energy works, its uses and benefits, and ties into the lab’s own solar installation on Gibraltar Island, some of which is shown here.

You can find out more about the curriculum, which is suited to students from elementary age to adult, in the latest on our CFAES Stories website. (Photo: Ohio Sea Grant via Flickr.)

Storing energy could help cut climate emissions

From a recent Ohio State press release, details on research involving a Buckeye in the College of Engineering:

“Electricity grids that incorporate storage for power sourced from renewable resources could cut carbon dioxide emissions substantially more than systems that simply increase renewably sourced power, a new study has found.

“The study, published … in the journal Nature Communications, found that storage could help make more efficient use of power generated by sources such as wind and solar and could help power grids move away from relying on fossil fuels for energy.”

Read the full story.

Find helpful renewable-energy resources—videos, fact sheets, and more; for businesses, homes, and farms—on CFAES’ Energize Ohio website. (Photo: Eric Romich, CFAES.)

Monday: Talk on innovative micro wind turbine

Robert Yost, president and CEO of American Wind Inc. and developer of the patented, basketball-sized MicroCube micro wind turbine, speaks and demonstrates the turbine at 7 p.m. tonight, Monday, April 8, on the CFAES Wooster campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Learn more.

Watch a 2018 interview with American Wind’s Daniel Yost above.

Shed more light on solar

Interested in adding solar energy to your farm? CFAES has lots of good reading for you.

  • For starters, check out four fact sheets by CFAES’s Ohio State University Extension outreach arm: “An Introduction to On-Farm Solar Electric Systems,” “On-Farm Solar Assessment,” “Estimating the Size of Your Solar Electric System” and “Financial Considerations of On-Farm Renewable Energy.”
  • Next, read two Ohioline fact sheets, also by OSU Extension: “Using Solar Energy to Produce Electricity for Ohioans” and “Photovoltaic Systems for Solar Electricity Production.”
  • Then, go deeper: pore through the Solar Electric Investment Analysis series, whose six in-depth bulletins come from OSU Extension and the University of Wyoming.

You can find links to them all and more at the website for Energize Ohio, an OSU Extension Signature Program, energizeohio.osu.edu. Click on the “Energy Library” button.

Cool rides

Seen just now at the green car cruise-in at the Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair at CFAES Wooster: a red Chevy Bolt (electric, 238-mile range), a red Chevy Volt (extended range electric), a sharp white futuristic first-generation Nissan Leaf (electric), a cool space-pod-looking Mitsubishi i-MiEV (electric; range, about 60 miles), a red Ford C-MAX (gas-electric hybrid), CFAES scientist Fred Michel’s green Ford Escape hybrid with custom after-market roof-mounted solar panel, and a sleek dark-blue Tesla Model S 100D (electric, 351-mile range).

The fair and cruise-in go until 4 p.m. today. At 1 p.m., the parking lot, next to CFAES Wooster’s Fisher Auditorium, was filling fast but still had plenty of spaces. The food trucks smelled fantastic.