The majority of electricity generated and used within the state of Ohio is generated from resources like coal, natural gas as well as nuclear power. With a number of large industries across the state, Ohio does have a higher power use yet due to the Ohio Energy Choice program, prices have also remained reasonable for residents compared to other states. And the state has growing renewable energy sources to help reduce the dependency on coal and gas.
Where the power comes from
As of the last survey taken in 2015, natural gas accounted for the highest consumption of energy in the state, with over 1 trillion Btu consumed in the year. Utica Shale has been partly behind the increase in natural gas production, having 19x increase its production from 2011 to 2016. The state also has the 7th largest crude-oil refining capacity as of 2016.
In second place is coal followed by motor gasoline, including ethanol. Ohio is the 8th largest producing state in terms of ethanol with plants that create over 550 million gallons each year. Nuclear power contributes around 180 trillion Btu each year along with renewable sources. The state also received around 380 trillion Btu in net interstate flow of electricity.
Coal is behind 58% of the electricity produced in the state in 2015, followed by natural gas (24%) and other types of generation accounting for 14%. Renewable energy sources are still growing, accounting for 2% of production this year but this figure will continue to grow as projects are completed.
In terms of energy rates in Ohio compared to other states, figures are firmly in the middle for what domestic customers pay. At the top of the list are residents of Hawaii who pay around 29.07 cents per kWh while at the bottom of the rates is Washington where prices are just 9.68 cents per kWh. The current average prices for Ohio places the state in 26th position at an average of 12.51 cents per kWh.
Wind power is the highest producer of renewable energy for the state, a steadily increasing source since the first wind farm was opened in Bowling Green in 2004. By the end of 2016, the state has a total of 34 wind projects online with another 100 megawatts worth under construction.
Ohio also has 19 utility-scale power plants that are fueled by either landfill gas or biomass. Biomass can come from wood and wood waste as well as from municipal solid waste and bio digesters. There are two wood pellet manufacturers also contributing to the overall production. Solar power has reached nearly 10% of non-hydroelectric renewable power for the first time in 2016, over half of which is small scale, consumer contributed on properties.
Hydropower also creates around 2.3% of electricity generation in the state. This can be from a number of sources including dams that create the power to turn turbines and generate power as well as from falling water sources used in the same way. Geothermal is the final piece of the renewable picture, providing power from the heat under the surface of the Earth and transforming it to steam to power turbines.