Illinois’ solar business is benefiting from the state’s Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which was passed five months ago. Solar companies have completed more than 2,000 rooftop and community solar projects across the state in less than a half year, enough clean energy to power 30,000 households, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Furthermore, Illinois businesses are expected to construct more than 8,400 rooftop and community solar projects by the end of 2022, resulting in a 47 percent growth in the state’s solar workforce.
Clean energy companies said that they had already increased their efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion by recruiting from solar job training programmes, forming internal diversity committees, and employing from diverse backgrounds.
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act was signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker today. The Prairie State coal plant will be forced to reduce its emissions by 45 percent by 2038, and to close entirely by 2045, under the new bill passed into law.
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Illinois House (83 yes to 33 no) (SB2408).
Governor JB Pritzker (D-IL) signed a landmark renewable energy measure that would phase out all of the state’s fossil fuel plants by 2045. It also establishes more stringent targets for the dirtiest plants and those who live in communities affected by environmental injustice.
The following are the highlights of the bill’s clean energy and energy efficiency provisions:
- Invests $580 million per year to raise Illinois’ clean energy production from 9% to 50% by 2040, resulting in thousands of new employment.
- The annual budget for community solar programmes has been increased from $10 million to $50 million.
- Saves the domestic solar business, which was growing before the pandemic’s economic crisis.
- Increases energy efficiency, particularly in low-income weatherization initiatives, saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year and reducing the energy burden on disadvantaged communities.
- Labor regulations in clean energy projects around the state are being expanded.
In addition, the bill addresses concerns such as equity, utility responsibility, and a fair transition. On the transportation front, $78 million per year will be spent on electric transit over the next decade, with 45 percent of the benefits going to low-income communities.