Illinois legislators introduced new legislation last week that would require 35% of the state’s energy to be produced from clean sources by 2030, correct problems with its Renewable Portfolio Standard, set ambitious energy efficiency targets, and create 32,000 clean energy jobs per year.
“The bill allows the Illinois Power Agency, which procures electricity on behalf of utilities ComEd and Ameren, to develop a long-term plan to procure renewables,” Midwest Energy News reports. “This would avoid the problems currently plaguing the standard, wherein it is nearly impossible for wind and solar developers to be certain of a long-term commitment to purchase their power.”
The legislation supports solar rooftop and community solar installations as well as utility-scale generation, provides for low-income solar programs and solar job training, caps utility rate increases to fund renewable energy investments at 2%, and mandates the state Environmental Protection Agency to come up with market-based measures to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan, Lydersen writes.
“This bill benefits people in every part of Illinois, in our biggest cities, in suburbs, in farming communities – anywhere where people would gain from new jobs, better health, and a cleaner environment,” said one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “With 100,000 clean energy jobs throughout the state, Illinois is at a tipping point. There is no time to waste.