In Illinois, there is a bright future for clean energy and jobs with good supporting legislation. Due to previous legislation, the Future Energy Jobs Act, Illinois already has a massive clean energy industry, with some of the highest growth levels. Clean Jobs Midwest

“Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, clean energy companies employed more than 125,000 Illinoisans, and clean energy jobs were growing, according to the latest available data. In practically every sector in the clean energy economy — including renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean fuels, and grid and storage — Illinois led the Midwest region in jobs in 2019.

The state’s largest clean energy employer remains energy efficiency. The sector has been home to more than 73 percent of Illinois clean energy jobs and grew 1.7 percent in 2019. Last year, the state also saw job growth in clean fuels (1.3 percent), grid and storage (2.4 percent), and renewable energy generation (4.4 percent).

Clean energy jobs are found in every corner of the state. While the Chicago metropolitan area (including Naperville and Joliet) had the largest concentration of clean energy jobs, more than 10 percent — over 13,500 jobs — were at the end of 2019 located in rural Illinois.”

According to the EIA:

“In 2019, renewable energy generated 8% of the electricity generated in Illinois, and in-state renewable electricity has almost tripled since 2010. Wind is the primary renewable resource used for electric power generation in the state. In 2019, wind provided 97% of the state’s renewable energy generation, and Illinois was sixth in the nation in utility-scale (1 megawatt or greater) wind capacity, with about 5,200 megawatts online. The state has considerable additional wind power potential, and about 1,200 megawatts of capacity is either under construction or in advanced development.”

In Illinois, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) has been developed by a consortium of organizations, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, through listening sessions with people in communities across the state. It’s comprehensive and ambitious, and can serve as example for other states. CEJA aims to significantly increase renewable energy, electric vehicles, storage and energy efficiency:


Source: Accelerate Group

This new activity will result in the following increases in private investment in the state:

economic impact

Source: Accelerate Group

As of March 2019, the state’s net electricity generation by source was 7% natural gas, 30% coal-fired, 54% nuclear (most in the nation) and 10% renewables according to the Illinois Environmental Council.

According to the information provided on the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition website:

  • CEJA commits Illinois to 100% renewable energy and provides the path and funding to get there. We will hit 46% renewable energy by 2030, including over 17,000 MW of new solar energy and 6,300 MW of new wind energy.
  • CEJA fixes the renewable energy “cliff” by increasing the renewables budget and directing the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to take immediate action to sustain our clean energy economy while it determines how to implement CEJA through its planning process.
  • This Economic Impact Report has calculated that the Clean Energy Jobs Act will lead to $39 billion of direct private investment into Illinois by 2030, above and beyond any explicit subsidy, utility expenditure, or charge to customers.
  • Within that overall direct private investment determination, the report estimates that $1.5 billion per year will be invested directly into workforce and labor expenditures, with significant amount of geographic spread in those investments across the state.
  • Finally, the Report finds that the net gain of local and state income tax, sales tax, and property tax revenue exceeds $6 billion over the next 20 years.
  • A new poll shows that 82% of Illinois voters support the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), the comprehensive clean energy legislation that would move the state to 100% renewable energy and create thousands of good-paying jobs at a time when people and communities need them the most. 
  • The clean energy legislation would also electrify the mass transit and transportation sector, cut carbon from the power sector and require that thousands of clean energy jobs created by the bill be prioritized in disadvantaged communities and communities that have sustained coal plant closures. The bill has 55 sponsors in the state House and 31 sponsors in the Senate.
  • The Clean Energy Jobs Act was developed with outreach and input from communities all across the state with over 70 community events through the Illinois Clean Job Coalition’s Listen Lead Share Campaign. The Clean Energy Jobs Act does not burden Illinois taxpayers. Changes to the Capacity Market, energy efficiency improvements, as well as other market fixes will create the savings needed for the programs. Similarly, we heard from community members all across the state that polluters should foot the bill for the pollution that they have contributed at the expense of our communities for too long.
    Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition

Watch an informative video by Jean Korte, Illinois citizen, regarding Illinois and CEJA: