Aggressive clean energy bill would push Illinois to 100% renewables by 2050

(Energy News Network, 28 Feb 2019) The Clean Energy Jobs Act seeks to expand on and address shortcomings in the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act.

An ambitious energy bill introduced Thursday in Illinois would mandate the state shift to entirely renewable energy by mid-century with an emphasis on job creation and equity.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 3624/SB 2132) grew out of listening sessions held statewide last year by environmental and energy groups that are members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition.

The coalition says the bill will expand on and address shortcomings in the implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act, passed with much fanfare in 2016. They say it would create four times as much wind and solar power as FEJA, enough to power 4 million homes through 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines.

“There were a lot of lessons learned from the Future Energy Jobs Act,” said Juliana Pino, policy director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, which helped lead the struggle to close Chicago’s coal plants and was heavily involved in drafting FEJA. “We’re creating connectivity, filling in the gaps [in FEJA] and addressing the need for renewable energy development.”

The bill mandates targets more ambitious than the current renewable portfolio standard that demands 25 percent renewables by 2025. The new bill calls for 45 percent renewables by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050, a target that new Gov. JB Pritzker has previously endorsed.

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Energy News Network, 28 Mar 2019: Aggressive clean energy bill would push Illinois to 100% renewables by 2050