Illinois has plenty of wind. That's a good thing, says Don Fullerton, a finance professor at the University of Illinois. In a policy brief published through the U of I's Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Fullerton says Lake Michigan could be a good place for new windmills.
“Putting them near the shore has pros and cons; it's cheaper,” he says. “The advantage of putting them further offshore is that you don't see them from the beaches.”
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While the Clean Power Plan requires states to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent (from 2005) by 2030, Fullerton says Illinois should not quit coal cold turkey.
“Suppose we maintain the current production of coal-fired electricity and keep those jobs,” he says. “The real question is about where the growth is going to occur. We don't have to reinvest in the future of coal if there's other, newer, cheaper forms of renewable energy like wind.”