Maria Energia: Congratulations on recently passing the advanced energy portfolio standard
Lt Governor: Credit goes to the governor and energy advisor for this effort. They built a powerful coalition of the environmental and renewable energy sectors, the manufacturing sector, small business and labor. I think developing a broad-based coalition at the outset was key.
The only part of the coalition that I think it's fair to say was probably not involved was the utility industry. But in fairness to them they certainly were willing to engage in spirited debate. I think regular communication to coalition members was key to getting the legislation passed. Also, it had bipartisan support in the legislature (we have a Republican Senate and a Republican House).
Steve Harvey: Was there any contention on the energy efficiency piece [requiring utilities to achieve energy savings of 22.5 percent by 2025 and reduce peak energy demand one percent in 2009, then .75 percent per year through 2018]?
Lt. Governor Fisher: It was very important to have energy efficiency as part of the AEPS. We had pretty broad-based support on this and leading that effort was Duke Energy. In fact I think their CEO has described energy efficiency as "the fifth fuel."...So while there was a general feeling that expanding and diversifying our energy portfolio was important, conservation and energy efficiency was indispensable in achieving our success and our self efficiency.
Steve Harvey: What are some of the best practices to help start-ups or new energy companies get going? Is there an infrastructure beyond taxes?
Lt. Governor Fisher: We have Edison centers in
Maria Energia: Do you think renewable energy can help revitalize small, rural communities in
Lt. Governor Fisher: Ohio’s manufacturing and agriculture base, as well as our strategic location and well-built infrastructure, gives us a home court advantage when it comes to growing and attraction renewable energy industry. We are number four in railroads, number four in highways, we have a huge amount of freight that goes along Lake Erie and the
Maria Energia: What’s your favorite renewable energy?
Lt. Governor Fisher: My favorite color is green. So any renewable energy that's considered "green" is my favorite one.
Photo credit: Ohio.gov