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.
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.
- Illinois should take major steps to reduce its carbon pollution, including ensuring there are enforceable laws and measurable results.
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.