ILLINOIS

ILLINOIS

lllinois’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or melting sooner.

While precipitation has increased by an average of 4% nationwide between 1901 and 2015, Illinois has seen as much as a 10% rise in precipitation in this period. Most of this moisture is experienced as increased rainfall in the winter and spring, bringing hazards such as rising water levels of lakes, severe weather and tornadoes and exacerbating ecological issues like algae blooms and invasive species migration. These challenges expose the weaknesses in ageing infrastructure and hold severe consequences for the agricultural sector, where waterlogging is expected to cause a 10-30% decline in corn and soy yields.

The midwest’s economic powerhouse, Illinois is the fifth-most energy consuming state in the country, with 31% of its end-use consumption coming from the industrial sector, but is also a major electricity generator with the largest number of nuclear power plants in the nation. A key hub for crude oil and natural gas moving throughout the United States. Illinois also has substantial coal reserves and some crude oil resources as well. A  leading producer of both ethanol and biodiesel, Illinois’ primary renewable resource is biofuels. The state is the third-largest ethanol producer, after Iowa and Nebraska, and has the third-largest ethanol production capacity and the fourth-largest biodiesel production capacity in the nation.

The state is a leader in wind-powered electricity generating capacity, ranking sixth in the nation. By  2019, wind power had become the primary renewable resource used for  electric power generation, supplying 7%, triple what it was in 2010. with a goal of procuring 75% of its renewable energy from wind by 2025.

Illinois took ambitious steps in 2018 to decarbonize its fossil-fuel dependent economy by passing the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan with goals of 25% renewable energy by 2025. This portfolio standard also invests in job creation and a plan for making solar energy affordable for all.

Already by 2019, Illinois had become a leader in wind-powered electricity generating capacity, ranking sixth in the nation. Making up 7% of its electric power generation (triple of what it was in 2010), wind power was its primary renewable resource. Its greater goal is to procure 75% of its renewable energy from wind by 2025.

A new plan called the Clean Energy Jobs Act was proposed in 2019, with the backing of Governor J.B. Pritzker, to establish a target of 100% renewable energy by 2050 and put it in league with 14 other states (including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico). On 9/15/2021, with support from both sides of the aisle, the governor succeeded,  signing a massive climate and energy plan (including supporting three of Illinois’ nuclear power plants and doubling the subsidies available for renewable energy companies to build wind and solar projects)  to get Illinois to 40% renewable energy by 2030, 50% by 2040, and 2050 for when 100% of the state’s power comes from “ clean” sources that include nuclear plants  Fossil fuels as power sources will be largely phased out of Illinois’ energy portfolio by 2045.

At the signing Pritzker said, “We’ve seen the effects of climate change right here in Illinois repeatedly in the last two and a half years alone,” he said. “A polar vortex. Devastating floods. Microbursts that destroy buildings. Record lake levels. Extreme heat.”

President Biden’s administration praised the deal Wednesday, with U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm issuing a statement saying Illinois’ law will show “just what bold state-level action can do to usher in the clean energy future.”

“Preserving our existing fleet of nuclear reactors, adopting more clean and renewable energy, and incentivizing sales of electric vehicles are all key components of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and essential to reaching our nation’s bold climate goals,” Granholm said.

Illinois is one of twenty five states committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Illinois House panel advances requirements for electric-vehicle charging at new, renovated buildings

01/12/22
A measure before the General Assembly would require new and renovated residential or commercial buildings to set aside parking spaces that could easily be converted into charging stations for electric vehicles.

Illinoisans likely won’t see changes from the new energy bill for a few years

12/19/21
It will take a few years before residents in the Metro East and across Illinois start to see some of the biggest effects of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, like the expansion of solar…

Kane County Solar Project to save millions on energy costs

09/27/21
A 2 megawatt solar (2MW) field to be installed at the Kane County Judicial Center in Geneva will generate enough energy to save taxpayers $5 million over the next 25 years.

United States: The Future Of Illinois Energy Policy: Renewable Energy Set To Expand

09/22/21
On September 15, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the sweeping Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2408), establishing the next steps for Illinois energy policy after years of negotiation. This legislation builds on…

Massive clean energy bill becomes law, investing billions in renewable, nuclear sectors

09/15/21
Gov. JB Pritzker was joined by environmental and social justice activists, union representatives, and lawmakers from both parties Wednesday as he signed into law a sweeping energy regulation overhaul that aims to phase out carbon…

NOAA, Chicago partner on climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

07/13/21
With help from NOAA, a caucus of Chicago’s metropolitan mayors released today one of the first regional climate plans in the United States. It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from…

Preparing for Climate Change in Illinois

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps the state is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan

04/11/19
Evanston has a long track record of success when it comes to climate action. Since the City Council’s unanimous decision to support participation in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, our…

Chicago Climate Action Plan

04/11/19
To assess the impacts of climate change and to develop a plan for the future, the City of Chicago consulted leading scientists to describe various scenarios for Chicago’s climate future and how those would impact…

The University of Illinois Climate Action Plan

04/10/19
In 2008, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This action committed the campus to carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)…

KEY RESOURCES

Illinois Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Solar energy is picking up steam in Illinois, with almost 50,000 installations across the state. Homeowners continue to recognize the many benefits of going green, choosing to install solar panels in Illinois with the support…

Illinois State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/23/21
Located in the center of the United States, Illinois is the most populous Midwestern state, and ranks sixth in the nation in population and fifth in GDP. The state's population is concentrated in a few…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

10/06/20
EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Illinois

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Illinois experienced two floods and 10 severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Illinois

07/31/20
In the Midwestern region, extreme heat, flooding and intense rain is expected to harm agriculture, health and infrastructure. The National Climate Assessment also points to increased risks from climate change to the Great Lakes, including…

What Climate Change Means for Illinois

05/05/20
Illinois’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or…

Florida Renewable Energy

01/24/20
Florida produces more electricity from biomass than solar, wind, and hydroelectricity combined. Burning biomass is an effective way to produce electricity, and has the added benefit of helping Florida farmers, businesses, and landfills get rid…

Wind Energy in Illinois

01/21/20
Find wind data and information in Illinois, including maps, capacity, ordinances, and more.

Illinois’ Voice for Consumer Choice

01/21/20
The Illinois Renewable Fuels Association supports the Illinois ethanol industry by pursuing legislative initiatives, conducting research, and developing infrastructure – all so Illinois consumers can have cheaper, more environmentally friendly options at the pump!

Solar Power in Illinois: All You Need to Know

01/21/20
Illinois Solar Power: Check Your Savings, Costs, Tax Breaks Incentives and Rebates. If you live in the state of Illinois, the switch to solar can give you considerable cash savings over its service life.

Ultimate Guide to Home Solar Panels in Illinois

01/21/20
This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Illinois home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help…

Best Illinois Electricity Companies

01/21/20
Illinois became a deregulated state for large and industrial businesses in 1997 and a fully deregulated state in 2008. This means if you’re a resident or a business owner in Illinois, you have a choice…

Illinois solar incentives and rebates help you save on solar

01/21/20
If you live in Illinois and are considering investing in a solar energy system for your home, here’s some great news for you: your state offers myriad solar incentives to help you out. Even if…

Illinois Renewable Energy Association

01/08/20
IREA offers private tours of a solar installation

MORE NEWS

Electricity Regulation With Equity & Justice For All

By Kiran Julin   01/16/22  
Poring over the line items on your monthly electricity bill may not sound like an enticing way to spend an afternoon, but the way electricity bills are structured has a significant impact on equitable energy…
BND

Bill would require new residential buildings in Illinois to accommodate EV charging Read more at: https://www.bnd.com/news/politics-government/article257268792.html#storylink=cpy

By Grace Kinnicutt  Photo: Derik Holtmann , BND   01/13/22  
A measure before the General Assembly would require new and renovated residential or commercial buildings to set aside parking spaces that could easily be converted into electric vehicle charging station ....

Illinois just experienced one of its warmest Decembers on record

By Dana Cronin  Photo: Reginald Hardwick , Illinois Newsroom   01/06/22  
According to provisional data, December 2021 was the fifth warmest December on record. The average statewide temperature was 39.4 degrees Fahrenheit – more than nine degrees above average.

IFB facing tough questions on renewable energy

By Jeannine Otto   01/06/22  
The Illinois Farm Bureau will be trying to find a way to ensure that one of its core values — protecting the right of property owners to do what they want with their property —…

Experts say more ‘smart’ technology is needed in the Great Lakes to monitor climate change

By Mark Lebien  Photo: Ben Szczygiel , Illinois - Indiana Sea Grant   01/03/22  
That’s the view of researchers, scientists and government agencies that monitor the world’s largest freshwater system. As climate change shows signs of altering the lakes’ ice cover, water temperatures, water levels and shorelines, experts are…

‘Spring was dry, summer was humid and hot, and fall was weird’: Some surprising swings in 2021

By Morgan Greene  Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans , Chicago Tribune   01/03/22  
From extreme winter cold in the early months of 2021 to record-breaking warmth that heated fall nights, the year included events emblematic of the state’s changing climate, and some surprising swings that served as a…

Illinois needs interstate competition, not in-state monopoly, to lower electricity costs

By Donald Kochan  Photo: Scott Olson , Getty Images   12/29/21  
The mandate in 2021 energy legislation requires utilities to increase the amount of in-state renewable energy they purchase. It makes no sense to geographically restrict where utilities purchase energy from.

Three big natural gas plants would wipe out climate gains from recent shutdowns of coal-fired plants in Illinois

By Michael Hawthorne  Photo: Erin Hooley , Chicago Tribune   12/28/21  
Two weeks after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law billed as the nation’s most aggressive mandate for clean energy, the Chicago Democrat’s administration tentatively approved a major new source of heat-trapping pollution.

Illinois falls behind federal goal to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into its waterways

By Morgan Greene  Photo: Unsplash , CC0 Public Domain   12/23/21  
Hundreds of miles south of Chicago, decomposing algae in the Gulf of Mexico makes life so perilous for fish they swim away—or die.

Inside Clean Energy: Here Are 5 States that Took Leaps on Clean Energy Policy in 2021

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Scott Olson , Getty Images   12/23/21  
It’s understandable if people are feeling dour during this unseasonably warm December when, once again, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass major climate legislation.

Illinois — a major feeder to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone — falls behind federal goal to reduce phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into its waterways

By Morgan Greene  Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans , Chicago Tribune   12/20/21  
Hundreds of miles south of Chicago, decomposing algae in the Gulf of Mexico makes life so perilous for fish they swim away — or die.

Consumer Utility Board issues warning about Ameren Illinois rate increase

By Shepard Price  Photo: Anton Petrus , Getty Images   12/16/21  
On Monday, Dec. 13, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved by a vote of 4-1 a $57,609,000 formula rate hike for Ameren Illinois. The delivery increase is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

Illinois Shows Us What the Road to Clean Energy Should Look Like

By Courtney Lindwall  Photo: Archigeek , Flickr   12/02/21  
Here’s how a formidable clean energy coalition helped pass the most equitable climate legislation in the country—and developed a blueprint for other states to follow.

Pritzker’s energy policy promises 40% renewable power by 2030. But Illinois has fallen short of earlier targets.

By Dan Petrella  Photo: Brian Cassella , Chicago Tribune   10/12/21  
Gov. J.B. Pritzker hailed the energy policy overhaul he signed last month as a “giant leap forward” in addressing Illinois’ contributions to climate change, a sentiment echoed by many environmental advocates and other supporters.

Americans may soon pay more for milk, cheese as rising heat stresses livestock

By Dana Cronin   09/28/21  
Farmers across the U.S. are struggling to keep their livestock cool enough amid rising temperatures and dangerous heat caused by climate change. As Illinois Public Media’s Dana Cronin reports, livestock producers are searching for ways…

In Illinois, energy law’s coal-to-solar commitments spark hope, skepticism

By Kari Lydersen  Photo: Matt Turner / Creative Commons   09/28/21  
The sudden closure of Vistra Energy’s Havana, Illinois, coal plant two years ago was a win for the climate and ratepayers, but a devastating blow to the tax base that the local school district, parks,…

Illinois becomes 1st Midwestern state to pass a law to phase out fossil fuels

By Ben Adler  Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images   09/28/21  
At a time when the Midwest is being battered by more severe storms due to climate change, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a landmark law this month that will transition the state to 100 percent…

What Illinois’ green energy law means for electric car buyers

By Marni Pyke   09/27/21  
There's a lot to unpack in Illinois' new 956-page clean energy program, including $4,000 rebates for electric vehicles, subsidies for charging stations and ... some ambiguities.

Small islands between tourism economy and climate change | Nation

09/27/21  
Visit Maldives. The President of Maldives This year’s UN General Assembly, The moment before switching to a fervent plea to support the fight against climate change. Adjacent appeals represent a central dilemma in many small…

State of Illinois Enacts Landmark Energy Transition Legislation That Includes Vistra’s Coal to Solar & Energy Storage Initiative

09/17/21  
Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law SB 2408, the Energy Transition Act, a sweeping and comprehensive measure designed to move the State of Illinois to 100% clean energy, support a responsible transition away from carbon-intense…

Illinois Solar Tour goes hybrid in showcasing homes, businesses across the state

Photo: Brian Gravenhorst   09/16/21  
More than 60 solar homes and businesses across the state participating in this year's Illinois Solar Tour, which will give thousands of Illinois residents an exclusive in-person or virtual look at the world's fastest growing…
npr

Pritzker Signs Climate Plan To Get Illinois On Path To 100% Clean Energy With Help From Ratepayer Hike

By npr Illinois   09/15/21  
Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed a massive climate and energy plan into law — the last and hardest fought of his agenda items for his first four years in office as he gears up…

Ill. Gov. Pledges to Sign Landmark Clean Energy Bill

By Dean Olsen  Photo: Shutterstock   09/14/21  
Illinois Gov. Jb Pritzker Has Said He Will Quickly Sign A Bill That Calls For Green Economy Expansion And The Closure Of All Coal-fired Power Plants In The State By 2045. Critics Say The Bill…

The Grassroots Movement that Saved One-Third of Illinois’ Clean Electricity

By Eric Meyer  Photo: Grace Barbic   09/14/21  
Today marks a massive victory for the United States pro-nuclear movement as key laws were passed in the Illinois legislature that secure the futures of the Byron and Dresden Nuclear Plants.

Illinois Senate passes bill to save nuclear plants, sends to House

By Timothy Gardner  Photo: Carlo Allegri , Reuters   09/02/21  
The Illinois Senate passed a bill early on Wednesday that aims to prevent two nuclear power plants from shutting this autumn, sending the legislation to the House where it was uncertain if the chamber would…

Chicago becomes a museum to the devastating intersection of racism and climate change

By Nate Berg   08/20/21  
To celebrate the 40-year anniversary of its celebrated Fellows program, the MacArthur Foundation decided to show off the talents of its grantees. The no-strings-attached “genius grants” that are awarded annually to innovators in the arts,…

A third of the food we produce is thrown away. An app is trying to change that by connecting consumers to extra food at a bargain price.

By Maya Mokh  Photo: Terrance Antonio James , Chicago Tribune   08/09/21  
At the end of a given day, restaurants, markets and other food stores often have leftover food that is still perfectly good, but can no longer be sold the next day. That food often gets…

State, federal efforts too late to save Exelon’s Illinois nuclear plants, CEO Crane says

By Lulia Gheorghiu  Photo: Christopher Peterson   08/06/21  
Exelon Generation has two Illinois nuclear plants slated for shutdown and decommissioning this fall, despite recent federal proposals for both a tax credit and a fund for existing nuclear plants, and rising power prices in…

NOAA, Chicago partner on climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

07/13/21  
With help from NOAA, a caucus of Chicago’s metropolitan mayors released today one of the first regional climate plans in the United States. It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 2005…

A Battle Between a Great City and a Great Lake

By Dan Egan  Photo: Lyndon French   07/07/21  
In the search for ­­­­­a big-city refuge from climate change, Chicago looks like an excellent option. At least, it does on a map. It stands a half-continent away from the threat of surging ocean levels.…

Energy policy overhaul that would close coal, bail out nuclear plants stalls in Illinois Senate

By Sophia Tareen   06/17/21  
Legislators returned to Springfield to take up a massive overhaul of energy policy that includes a bailout for nuclear plants and closing coal-fired plants, but negotiations stalled Tuesday. Proposals on energy are outstanding following a…

Lawmakers urge governor to reconsider closing power plants

By Kevin Bessler  Photo: AP Photo/Robert Ray, file   06/15/21  
A bipartisan group of 52 Illinois lawmakers is urging Gov. JB Pritzker not to prematurely close not-for-profit coal-fired power plants, warning such a move would raise utility bills and eliminate jobs. They are asking that…

As legislature reconvenes, Illinois is poised to become the first state in the Midwest to ban coal-burning power plants

By Michael Hawthorne  Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune   06/15/21  
Illinois, one of the nation’s largest producers of coal, is on the verge of becoming the first Midwest state to ban energy companies from burning the lung-damaging, climate-changing fossil fuel to generate electricity.

Illinois stakeholders still hopeful on clean energy deal — but will it come soon enough for solar companies?

By Kari Lydersen  Photo: Garrison Riegel   06/04/21  
Garrison Riegel considers himself an eternal optimist. It might help explain why he launched his Chicago-based solar company, Celestar Solar, last year during the pandemic. But his sunny outlook was tested this week as legislation…

Developer of crypto mining site in Illinois begins transition to solar power use

By Ivan Shumkov   06/04/21  
Sangha Systems, the developer of an 82-MW cryptocurrency mining facility in Illinois, is taking the first steps to migrate its electricity consumption towards renewable energy. The company said on Thursday that it has signed a…

Climate versus jobs? Not in this heartland state.

By Stephanie Hanes  Photo: Alfredo Sosa   06/03/21  
For five generations, Andrew Bowman’s family has worked the land in Oneida, population 700-ish – a flat and fertile swath of Illinois his father always said was good for growing crops and kids. Today, he…

We can protect the jobs of working people and the environment at the same time

By Letters to the Editor   05/27/21  
In Illinois, we’re used to tough weather. We sweat on the softball field in the summer, freeze on our way to work in the winter, and we don’t shy away from a little rain. But…

How Pay-to-Play Politics and an Uneasy Coalition of Nuclear and Renewable Energy Led to a Flawed Illinois Law

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times   05/21/21  
Just over five years ago, the Illinois Legislature passed a plan that aimed to build a solar power industry from scratch while saving thousands of jobs at two struggling nuclear plants.

Illinois climate change assessment shows increased trend of warmer, wetter weather

By Rhiannon Branch   05/21/21  
A new assessment of the impacts of climate change in Illinois shows an ongoing trend of warmer and wetter conditions in the state which pose challenges to agriculture. Co-author and former Illinois State Climatologist Jim…

$345 Million Wind Energy Project Coming To Central Illinois

By Jack Graue and Charlie Schlenker   05/21/21  
An official with the company bringing a $345 million wind farm project to central Illinois says there will be significant economic and environmental impact to the plan. Located just west of Clinton and Wapella, the…

Exelon CEO: Replacing nuclear with renewables, storage to meet carbon goals could cost Illinois $80B

By Larry Pearl  Photo: Christopher Peterson   05/06/21  
Achieving the same amount of zero emissions power through renewables and storage would be 12 times more expensive than continuing to run Illinois' nuclear plants and cost the state's consumers $80 billion, Exelon CEO Chris…

Illinois Residents Can Now Support Clean Energy and Enjoy Electric Bill Savings

By Grace Mcmeekin and Sandrine Deparis   03/24/21  
Illinois residents and businesses within Commonwealth Edison’s service territory can now access affordable clean energy from four new community solar farms. Located in Whiteside County, these solar farms offer ComEd customers the opportunity to support…

Pike County wind power project takes a leap forward

By David C.L. Bauer   03/10/21  
Construction of a wind energy project that will produce enough electricity to power almost 20,000 houses will move forward near Pittsfield.

Invenergy Brings Blooming Grove Wind Center Online

By Matthew Mercure   03/10/21  
Invenergy, a privately held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, says the 250 MW Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center recently commenced commercial operations.

Consumers Win If Illinois’ Prairie State Coal Plant Closes

By JC Kibbey   03/03/21  
Consumers would likely benefit if Illinois’ Prairie State Energy Campus (“PSEC”) coal plant closed, according to a new report by independent energy think tank RMI.

More Illinois residents are turning to Lake Michigan for their drinking water. Climate change could add volatility to the supply.

By Morgan Greene   02/26/21  
More than 6 ½ million Illinois residents get their drinking water from Lake Michigan. As northeastern Illinois’ supply of groundwater shrinks, more municipalities are considering joining that number. Joliet is the most recent, voting last month to…

Illinois energy bill proposes ‘green bank’ as national movement builds

By Kari Lydersen  Photo by Jim Bowen   02/26/21  
Illinois would get a “green bank” to finance equity-focused clean energy investments under the latest version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act pending in the state legislature.

National Grid Renewables begins construction of 200 MW Illinois Prairie Wolf Solar Project

By Chris Galford   02/25/21  
A new 200 MW solar project has begun construction in Illinois, care of National Grid Renewables and a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with Cargill.

National Grid Renewables Begins Construction on 200 MW Illinois Solar Project

By Emily Holbrook   02/24/21  
National Grid Renewables, which includes the renewables development company formerly known as Geronimo Energy, recently announced the start of construction on the 200 megawatt (MW) Prairie Wolf Solar Project (Prairie Wolf) in Coles County, Illinois.

What Illinois can learn from the Texas energy crisis

By Grace Barbic   02/22/21  
When parts of Texas’ independent power grid went offline this week due to unusually extreme cold weather in the south, the amount of expected energy production lost was equivalent to the amount of electricity used…