ILLINOIS

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 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. 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, and Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. It has not, as of May, 2020, passed.

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

The University of Illinois Climate Action Plan

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)…

Chicago Climate Action Plan

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…

Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan

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…

KEY RESOURCES

Best Illinois Electricity Companies

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…

NEWS