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Utilizing solar power in Ohio is becoming more popular, but hurdles to growth remain

Is solar power becoming more accessible to Ohioans? [shutterstock]
Is solar power becoming more accessible to Ohioans? [shutterstock]

As the conflict in Ukraine rages on, affecting oil imports - and as traditional fossil fuel prices climb ever higher - environmental policy advocates are making a renewed push toward investment in renewable sources of energy.

Repeatedly on the campaign trail, the Biden Administration used green energy policy as a talking point; hoping to create 80,000 more green energy jobs by 2030 and setting a goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity, by 2035.

Along with these policy pushes, costs of manufacturing both wind turbines, and solar cells, have dropped over time.

In 2009, the cost of a solar panel installation was as high as $8.50 per watt. Today, that figure stands at $2.77 per watt - and solar cells themselves have become much more efficient at capturing sunlight.

With those technological advancements, and with cost saving figures becoming reality, albeit, long term, more individuals are looking to utilize solar panels, atop their homes.

Living more sustainably, while also saving money in the long-run? Sounds like a no brainer, but there are still plenty of hurdles before we're all installing those futuristic black plates on our garage roofs.

Today on the program we discuss some of the intricacies of solar power, including the economics involved, along with local and state-wide policy, that may help or hinder progress with renewables.

- Tristan Rader, Ohio Program Director, Solar United Neighbors

- Miranda Leppla, Director, Environmental Law Clinic at Case Western Reserve University

- Kwame Botchway, Urban Development and Sustainability  Consultant, and Director of Community Impact and Innovation, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

- Tom Bullock, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board of Ohio

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.