This year Illinois will consider the “Path to 100 Act,” a bill introduced by Rep. Will Davis (D-Hazel Crest) that would move the state to 40 percent renewable energy by 2030. It would also build on promises from Illinois Gov. JB P Pritzker (D) to move the state to 100 percent clean energy and address shortfalls in current policy.
Currently Illinois renewable energy portfolio requires that the state get 25 percent of its energy from renewable energy by 2025 and 16 percent by 2020. But supporters of the Path to 100 Act said that under current law the state will will generate less than 7 percent of its energy from clean energy sources in 2020.
“For the sake of our economy and our future, we need to get on the path to 100% clean, renewable electricity and we can start today,” said Davis. “The Path to 100 Act will achieve one of Governor Pritzker’s campaign goals while putting thousands of people to work, generating new investment in our state and new tax revenues for local communities.”
“The Path to 100 Act is good for the environment and for Illinois' economy,” said Andrew Wells, Director of Workforce Development for the Chicago Urban League. “Importantly, it provides new opportunities for individuals seeking career paths in the renewable energy field. The Chicago Urban League will continue to work to ensure that the minority communities we serve have equal access to those opportunities and are prepared to take advantage of them.”
The new legislation, which is being introduced in the Illinois Senate by Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), builds on the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) designed to increase renewable energy deployment in the state. That legislation has helped the state develop several hundred megawatts of wind and solar across all segments of the market from utility-scale to rooftop solar.
“The renewable energy industry is ready to invest billions of dollars in our state and deliver the clean, homegrown energy our citizens want. I intend for this Act to benefit our state equitably and spread the economic development dollars to Illinois communities throughout the state and especially those that are most in need of jobs and economic growth. I look forward to working with environmental justice, community and labor leaders to make sure the benefits of clean energy growth reach across Illinois,” Davis said.
In building the legislation, Davis worked with clean energy businesses to improve and expand its existing clean energy policies. Supporters said the new bill would not only move the state to 40 percent clean energy by 2030, it would also ensure the state is able to fund the move and add roughly 6,000 megawatts of new utility scale solar, 6,500 MWs of new wind power, as well as 7,500 MWs of new residential, commercial and community scale solar.
“We’ve seen how Illinois’ renewable energy policies can drive private investment, job training and consumer benefits. We can keep up the momentum and ensure all Illinois residents are part of our state’s clean energy future with the Path to 100,” said Amy Heart, midwest chair for SEIA and Sunrun policy director.Tweet