The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) shared data showing Illinois will not be able to meet its renewable energy goals and, that without legislative change, the state’s rapid growth in wind and solar energy will effectively cease until 2025. (see slides 12 and 21)
The IPA is the state agency responsible for managing Illinois’ renewable energy program. Illinois law requires the state to procure 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, but the IPA predicted current policy will only provide enough funding to reach roughly 10% by 2030.
“Days after the Trump administration announced its rollback of the federal Clean Power Plan, we learned that the state of Illinois won’t be able to meet its clean energy commitments,” said Nakhia Morrissette, Midwest Director of Regulatory Affairs for SEIA. “Illinois can do better. We need to pass the Path to 100 Act in order to help Illinois reach its clean energy goals, create thousands of new jobs and strengthen our state’s energy system. The bill will put Illinois on the right path — away from a renewable energy cliff and toward the equitable growth of good jobs and clean energy.”
Illinois has seen rapid growth in wind and solar energy in recent years, driven in part by policy changes from the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act. This policy supported new utility-scale wind and solar developments, enabled thousands of homeowners, businesses and public entities to lower their energy bills through on-site solar, and generated thousands of new jobs.
And while renewable energy projects approved in 2018 and 2019 will move forward, the IPA confirmed Illinois’ renewable energy industry is headed for a cliff in 2020. Without legislative change, renewable energy development in Illinois will contract sharply next year and dry up almost completely between 2021 and 2025 due to funding constraints written into current law.
At a stakeholder workshop held today, the IPA discussed the state’s current renewable energy program, the limits on funding available to support new wind and solar projects and said any substantial increase in the program will require legislation.
The Illinois General Assembly is currently considering legislation written to address this issue. The Path to 100 Act (HB 2966 / SB 1781) would steadily expand the state’s RPS program, supporting the continued growth of renewable energy and creating opportunities for the 807 community solar projects on the state’s waitlist to move forward. The legislation maintains consumer protections while gradually increasing the funding available to support year-over-year growth in wind and solar energy in order to meet consumer demand.
“It’s clear that Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard has worked to attract investment in utility-scale wind power, a low-cost and clean energy source that benefits the state’s ratepayers. By passing Path to 100, we can keep that positive momentum going and make Illinois a national leader in clean power,” said Jeff Danielson, Central Region Director for the American Wind Energy Association.
News item from IPA