Illinois has a unique electricity generation mix: 49% of the electricity generated comes from our 6 nuclear plants, 43% from coal-fired power plants, 3% from natural gas plants, and the remainder from renewable resources. Illinois is served by two electrical grids, one of which spans the northern portion of the state, and a second grid that serves much of the Midcontinent region. Because Illinois generates much more than it consumes, the state is an exporter of electricity. Illinois is also a key energy hub for the nation, with over a dozen interstate natural gas pipelines, two natural gas market centers, several petroleum and petroleum product pipelines, and an oil port.

Illinois ranks first nationally for generating nuclear power; fifth for installed wind generation; fourth in crude oil refining capacity; and is a leader in recoverable coal reserves and ethanol production. Illinois is one of the top 10 natural gas-consuming states in the nation, with 4/5 of the homes using natural gas for heating. Illinois currently has few producing natural gas wells and minimal production.  Fracking is legal in Illinois, but this technology is not widespread in the state due to comprehensive fracking laws and low natural gas and oil prices.

In December of 2016, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) was signed into law. FEJA requires ComEd and Ameren – the state’s two biggest electric utilities – to dramatically expand their energy efficiency programs, all while lowering bills. When it comes to renewable energy, FEJA not only fixes the existing Renewable Portfolio Standard to ensure that Illinois builds new clean energy resources, it will also open up opportunities to people in low-income communities who too often have been shut out of participating in the clean energy economy. FEJA will invest more than $750 million in low-income programs, including new Illinois Solar for All Program to prioritize new solar development and job training in economically disadvantaged communities. Specific programs will deliver consumer savings, economic development and job training and creation for ex-offenders and former foster children.
More than 100,000 Illinois workers are employed in clean energy jobs (wind turbines and solar panels, biofuels, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency) and we have more clean energy jobs than the state’s real estate and accounting sectors combined. Energy efficiency accounted for almost 66% of these jobs, while renewable energy accounted for 20%. But we can and should continually strive to do better by maximizing investment in energy efficiency and keeping the energy efficiency goals for industrial users strong; regaining our position as one of the top three states in the country for wind production; becoming a top solar-producing state; and incentivizing research into and development of renewable energy technologies.
Current Laws and Our Vision for the Future
Illinois’s energy future will be shaped by the decisions we make today in regards to energy efficiency, renewable energy, fossil fuels, and transportation.

  • Illinois should take major steps to reduce its carbon pollution, including ensuring there are enforceable laws and measurable results.
Illinois’ policy should strive to provide an energy system that is just, democratic, equitable, and composed of genuinely clean energy, based on conservation and not endless consumption.
State-wide policies should put forward energy solutions that are not ecologically or socially harmful, specifically to the communities who have borne the burden of pollution for decades. In addition, policies that support small-scale solar and other renewable energy in the most vulnerable communities will help create local jobs and ensure investments in low-income neighborhoods that need it the most.
Take Action
Learn how to make your own home and/or office more efficient.
Find out more about Fermilab and the research it conducts in the field of power transmission (among other exciting things).
A multidisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers at Argonne are working to advance the basic energy sciences, focusing research and development on a broad portfolio of sustainable and clean energy technologies.

Partners for Parks and Wildlife

Partners for Parks and Wildlife (PPW) is a grassroots coalition that is dedicated to secure and increase funding for open space and park acquisition, natural area preservation, wildlife habitat protection and recreational opportunities in Illinois.

Learn More About Climate Change

The U.S. EPA’s website on climate change was once a great resource for basic scientific information on the topic and we look forward to the day that it is again. Until then, the City of Chicago is making sure its citizens have access to research and information.


One of the simplest ways to donate to the IEC is by contributing through EarthShare in your workplace charity campaign .