Illinois Faces Challenges in Reaching Renewable Energy Goals

Illinois law requires that by the year 2025, at least 25% of the state’s energy comes from renewable sources, like wind or solar.

But as that deadline nears, projections by the Illinois Power Agency find that without changes to current policy, Illinois could fall short.

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The Illinois Power Agency was created in 2007 to procure electricity for the state’s utility companies, like ComEd. The agency ensures customers who buy power from utility companies receive reliable and affordable service. 

The agency also oversees the implementation of the state’s renewable energy goals, including the 2025 benchmark. 

But in a recent workshop, the IPA shared projections that put the state’s renewable energy share around only 10% in 2025. IPA Director Anthony Star says there’s a chance that number could change by the time the agency updates its long-term plan for 2022 and 2023, “but going from the 10% or so that we project now to 25% would be very challenging if we wait until then.”

Star says there are several reasons why the state could fall short of the 25% goal.

“One is that the funds that are collected to pay for renewables have what’s known as a rate cap on them, so we have a finite budget to make sure that this remains affordable for Illinois customers.”

He also cited new requirements from the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, which consolidated the state’s renewable energy procurement under the IPA. 

“The percentage of power that we have to procure for increased significantly at the same time as we were gearing up a number of new programs. So it just takes a while to ramp up,” Star says.

Star says he’s optimistic legislation will address these issues later this year or in early 2020.

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Transportation, Jobs at Center of Ambitious Illinois Clean Energy Bill

Illinois Gets ‘D’ Grade in Report Evaluating Renewable Energy Standards

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