Environmental groups are staking out their vision of Illinois’ energy future. They want 35 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030, and by that time cut electricity use by 20 percent. The current goals are 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and a 13 percent reduction in electricity use, presumably through greater energy efficiency, by 2025.
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“We can move decisively toward a cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy future that leaves a healthier environment for future generations and creates tens of thousands of new jobs across Illinois,” Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said at a news conference in Springfield.
A new group, the Illinois Clean Energy Coalition, says job creation would be 32,000 a year in a state that already has 100,000 clean energy jobs.
Anne McKibbin of Elevate Energy, which promotes energy efficiency, says the jobs on that side of the equation are in designing, manufacturing and installing high-efficiency appliances and insulation. “Those folks are working in every neighborhood and every town, and they’re from across Illinois. They’re creating local supply chains within their own towns, and they’re helping even more businesses add to their payrolls by reducing the cost of doing business in Illinois,” she said.
On the renewable energy side, Illinois added no new wind generating capacity in 2014.
The Illinois Clean Energy Coalition includes environmental groups, businesses involved in the solar and wind power industry, labor unions and the Citizens Utility Board.