Honors Projects


Sara HoneckFollow


With the climate crises worsening it is important that governments adopt effective policies to support renewable energy development. This is imperative considering the greenhouse gas emissions that fossil fuels, the conventional energy sources, emit. With a lack of direction from the federal government since the early 2000s, the states have been mostly left to support renewables with their own policy development. Between the three midwestern states of Iowa, Ohio, and Minnesota, Ohio lags far behind in terms of renewable energy growth while Iowa and Minnesota are national leaders. A state such as Ohio has likely seen less growth due to the presence of a fossil fuel industry, and more conservative state legislature compared to Iowa and Minnesota since the early 2000s. Although a mandate such as a Renewable Portfolio Standard will likely not be politically supported in Ohio, policies that are less regulatory such as financial incentives or a Mandatory Green Power Option, may make a positive difference in the Ohio’s renewable energy growth as they have done in Iowa and Minnesota. Additionally, a more prevalent environmental movement in Ohio, led by younger progressive voters, may spur some policy change. Renewable energy development in Ohio could also increase under an overarching federal climate policy, although additional research is necessary to determine the effects that such a policy would have on states with stagnant renewable energy growth.





First Advisor

Dr. Michael Weber

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. Dominic Wells

Second Advisor Department

Political Science

Publication Date

Spring 4-23-2021