With this new roadmap, Ohio can lay the groundwork for billions of investment dollars and thousands of new jobs

Earlier this year, I wrote about a report that shows Ohio could net more than 20,000 jobs and $25 billion in investment dollars through energy innovation.

And now we have the roadmap – with nine common-sense, concrete action steps – to get Ohio from here to there.

Building on a vision

The new roadmap report, Powering Ohio: A Path Forward for Energy and Transportation Transformation, is the second in a series by Synapse Energy Economics. Both rely on the insights and guidance of a diverse group of advisors from across the state’s business, regulatory, academic, labor and manufacturing sectors.

The first report outlined areas of growth, including attracting corporate investment and electrifying transportation, which – as noted above – could lead to thousands of new jobs and $25 billion in capital – if Ohio plays its cards right.

But how should, exactly, Ohio play its cards? The roadmap outlines three broad categories of actions to turn Ohio’s vision for energy innovation into reality.

Strengthen Ohio’s manufacturing future

Ohio is already a manufacturing powerhouse, and strengthening this sector is key to growth.

Step one is to encourage existing electric vehicle (EV) and clean-energy manufacturers to expand Ohio operations and retain their manufacturing base. Secondly, the state should target incentives to these manufacturers to secure a critical mass – essential for long-term, stable growth of jobs and investment.

The third action step is to support manufacturing excellence and innovation. This will be key to empowering a thriving workforce, as well as drawing in entrepreneurs and other industry leaders from outside the state.With this new roadmap, Ohio can lay the groundwork for billions of investment dollars and thousands of new jobs Click To Tweet

Build for the long term

Ohio should build today for the energy sector of tomorrow.

That starts with a state energy strategy – one that supports clean energy and transforming transportation. A clear, long-term strategy will provide stable policy support and reduce the risk that hampers growth and investment.

Innovation must be a central element to that strategy. Enhancing innovation on the electric grid will lower annual energy costs, increase productivity and increase customer satisfaction.

Additionally, manufacturing for an electric transport system will only get you so far without the needed infrastructure, like charging stations. With smart planning and forethought for transportation infrastructure, Ohio can be a leader along the full supply chain of manufacturing, testing, and deployment.

Help businesses succeed
Businesses are keen to grow the clean energy economy, and Ohio set them up for success.

First, some positive reinforcement: leaders who commit to use and support clean energy and advanced transportation should be recognized. This could be in the form of an initiative that celebrates successes and highlights best practices.

And Ohio shouldn’t stop at state borders. Many companies across the country – big and small – have already committed to using clean energy. By allowing affordable in-state clean energy to thrive, Ohio can create a competitive edge to attract these businesses.

Finally, Ohio should support leveraging economies of scale and public-private partnerships for those who do not typically have the capacity or capital to compete, like small- and medium-sized businesses.

Road ahead

Ohio has new elected state leaders – the perfect time to start planning for the state’s energy future. By strengthening the manufacturing sector, focusing on long-term priorities and helping businesses succeed, the state can lay the groundwork for billions of investment dollars and thousands of new jobs.

By Dick Munson

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