Investments in Illinois Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation

Laws that re-prioritize innovation, electricity generation and employment toward low-carbon activities provide investors with security and guidelines they need to make new investments, which leads to new businesses and jobs. A study by the Accelerate Group on the Clean Energy Jobs Act estimated an average private annual direct workforce investment of $1.5 billion per year for the next ten years. That’s “annual private direct local investments in installation, operations,  maintenance, sales and marketing, finance, development, engineering, and other core workforce careers, not including investments in equipment and supply purchases from local businesses or indirect job impacts.” What does this mean for local investment going to workers? The group reports the amounts below would flow into the regions for investment in contract labor and developer costs/labor every year for at least the next ten years:

Central and Southern ILNorthern IL
Rooftop and Community Solar$142,600,000$368,000,000
Large-Scale Solar$120,000,000$150,000,000
Wind Power$114,400,000$125,400,000
Electric Vehicles$9,702,000$24,200,000
Energy Storage$56,000,000$128,000,000

That’s money going directly to local businesses and employees.

Lower Prices for Consumers

The Clean Energy Jobs Act also works really hard to 1) change the outdated systems that are in place that allow utilities to get away with passing along their unaccountable costs to consumers, and 2) to keep consumer prices low. Here are the CEJA programs for that:

Energy Efficiency–CEJA produces $700 million/year in consumer savings

–Investments in EE increases of jobs 

–CEJA expands low-income EE programs

Capacity Market Reform–CEJA changes rules that currently keep around un-economic plants

–CEJA allows prioritization of clean energy resources first and gives IL more power over our own energy choices

Utility Accountability–CEJA sets up performance-based compensation models for utilities


Myth: Switching to clean energy will cost too much.

Mythbuster: Switching to clean energy creates massive private investment in new infrastructure and jobs. Laws like CEJA just put certainty in place so investors feel secure.

Myth: Clean energy is more expensive than traditional fossil fuel energy.

Mythbuster: Fossil fuels cause high costs to human health and environment that are not included in the price. In all cases now, clean energy is the cheapest.