Renewable energy resources in Illinois include wind, solar, biodiesel, anaerobic digestion, organic waste biomass, hydropower, landfill gas, and other alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy. Our current extensive wind and biomass resources foster a supportive environment for investments in renewable energy. In fact, Illinois ranks second in the Midwest for installed renewable power capacity and fifth in the nation for installed wind power capacity. We also rank third in the nation for ethanol production capacity and fourth for biodiesel production capacity. Our approximate installed renewable energy capacity includes: 3,667 megawatts (mW) of wind power; 53 mW from solar photovoltaics; 40 mW from hydropower; 149 mW from biomass and waste.
In December of 2016, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) was signed into law. This bill 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.
- Illinois should strive to maintain its position as one of the top five states in the country for wind production and become one of the top three solar producing states.