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Clean technology
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Oct 31, 2016

Benefits Of Rooftop Solar Power Largely Exceed Net Metering Costs, Analysis Finds

A recent report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center finds that “solar power’s rewards are far greater than its costs.”

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Feb 18, 2016

Report: Illinois Lost Solar Jobs In 2015, Ranking Slips Two Spots

Illinois lost about 300 jobs in the solar industry last year, according to the annual “National Solar Jobs Census” released by the Solar Foundation.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Apr 13, 2015

Despite Initial Surge, Local & Federal Policies Tamp Out Renewable Energy Growth In Illinois

A recent report by the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) shows that over 400 Illinois companies are now tapped into the state’s clean energy supply chain for solar and wind projects.

The local solar industry supply chain includes 237 Illinois companies, including those providing installation, electrical and consulting services. The other 170 Illinois companies are working in the state’s wind industry supply chain, comprised of manufacturers and diagnostic software designers as well as engineering, legal, financial and consulting firms. Collectively, the 400 plus Illinois wind and solar companies employ more than 20,000 workers, according to the report.

By comparison, there were 152 wind and 96 solar companies tied to the Illinois clean energy supply chain in 2011, according to a previous ELPC analysis.

“When a wind turbine goes up in rural Illinois, it doesn’t sprout from the ground,” said ELPC’s Executive Director Howard Learner. “Every piece of that turbine and that wind machine … (is) manufactured by skilled laborers and manufacturing workers” at firms located in Cicero, Elgin and Rockford, to name a few places.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Mar 21, 2014

Illinois Clean Energy Industry Stymied By Contradicting Policies, New Report Shows

More than 96,800 people work in Illinois' clean energy industry, which is on track to grow this year, according to the new "Clean Jobs Illinois" report. But that growth is being stymied by contradicting state and municipal policies. Progress Illinois takes a look at the report's findings.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Nov 27, 2013

Report: Illinois Ranks No. 5 For Reducing Pollution, Saving Water From Wind Power

A new report ranks Illinois as the fifth-best U.S. state when it comes to reducing carbon pollution and saving water thanks to wind power.

Illinois generated 7.7 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity through wind power in the state last year, according to the “Wind Energy for a Cleaner America” report from Environment Illinois. That wind energy prevented some 4.7 million metric tons of harmful carbon pollution from getting in the atmosphere, similar to removing 971,000 cars from the road, according to the report.

Wind power in the Prairie State also helped to save 2 billion gallons of water in 2012, which would have instead been used to support coal-fired power plants, the report reads. Those 2 billion gallons of water are enough to meet the daily needs of more than 63,000 people.

Additionally, the wind energy Illinois generated last year stopped 4,300 tons of nitrogen oxide and 5,400 tons of sulfur dioxide from being released into the air.

“Wind energy has given us a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” Lisa Nikodem of Environment Illinois said in a statement. “Now our state and national leaders need to take action to make sure we don’t leave this cornucopia of environmental benefits on the table.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Aug 23, 2013

IL Advances Offshore Wind Energy Research, But Lake Turbines Still ‘Light-Years’ Away, Experts Say

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Lake Michigan Wind Energy Act earlier this month, but don’t expect wind farms to pop up in the lake anytime soon.

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), authorizes the state to conduct further research on which parts of Lake Michigan are suitable for offshore wind energy development before any leases or permits are issued for such projects.

The recent measure piggybacks on the recommendations cited in an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) report released last year that first explored the issue after the state set up the Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Council in 2011.

Under the new measure, IDNR is now tasked with developing an offshore wind “siting matrix” to identify preferred or prohibited development areas in the lake based on existing wildlife, infrastructure, transportation and other environmental factors. IDNR is expected to use its own funds for the study, which is projected to take at least two years.

Within this two-year research window, devices will be installed on the lake to track wind currents, peak hours and other factors, explained Gabel’s legislative assistant Matt Trewartha.

But that’s just the beginning, acording to experts.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Jun 5, 2013

Illinois Ranked A National Leader In Clean Technology Deployment

Illinois is “leading the charge” for clean technology deployment in the country, according to a new report from Clean Edge, a research and advisory firm dedicated to energy efficient and environmentally friendly industries, policies and applications.

The firm’s inaugural U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index report, released Tuesday, ranked Illinois’ clean-tech marketplace as 8th in the nation for strong policies that reduce the state’s environmental footprint.

“The clean-tech sector is the critical industry for economic leadership and economic development in the 21st century,” said Clint Wilder, senior editor of Clean Edge and co-author of the report. “If you want to plan for the future at all, it’s important to establish leadership and establish your state as one of the clean-tech hubs in the U.S., and I think Illinois has done a very good job of that.”