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Illinois Lawmaker Paves Path To 100 Percent Clean Energy

Tony Webster - Flickr / CC-by 2.0

Environmental groups want Illinois to produce more clean energy, but the state is already behind on its renewable energy goals.

In 2016, lawmakers adopted a plan to expand clean energy programs, thereby creating jobs and reducing consumer costs.

Under that law, Illinois should be getting 16 percent of its energy from renewable sources by next year.

But Amy Heart, with the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the state won’t make even half of that number.

“While we are increasing wind and solar in Illinois significantly today, with the existing policies that we have, we actually only reach about 7 percent of renewable energy generation by 2020,” Heart said.

New legislation called the Path to 100 Act would put more state resources toward not just meeting, but exceeding the current goal.

State Rep. Will Davis, a Democrat from Homewood, is the sponsor.

“Reaching 40 percent renewable energy by 2030 is achievable,” Davis said. “It will give us clean air, guaranteed low-cost electricity, billions in local tax revenue and hundreds of new jobs.”

Davis hopes to eventually get all of Illinois’ energy from renewable sources. He said it’s important to make sure low-income and minority communities also benefit from these efforts.

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