Illinois has an immediate opportunity to generate strong, long term economic growth by capitalizing on clean energy production, harnessing renewable energy over the next 13 years. In 2007, the state passed visionary legislation establishing the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), a path to ensure 25 percent of our energy would come from clean sources by 2025. This was one of the strongest RPS programs in the nation and to date has had positive results:
- $4.16 billion total economic boost over the life of the projects
- $22.2 million in new, annual property taxes (70 percent of which goes to local school districts)
- $10.23 million annual lease payments for Illinois farmers & landowners
- Approximately 13,323 full-time equivalent jobs during construction periods with a total payroll of over $762 million
- Approximately 598 permanent jobs in rural Illinois areas with a total annual payroll of over $35 million
However, the program has unexpectedly stalled due to implementation challenges with the increase in municipal aggregation and investments in renewable energy will not resume until 2018. This poses a great financial loss and missed opportunity unless we adjust to current market realities.
There is an easy fix for this situation. Currently, RPS compliance is met through different methods for customers that buy power from utilities or ARES, which creates separate and constantly changing funding buckets. By moving the compliance payment to the distribution side of the bill, where customer number and load are constant and predictable, the three buckets are combined into one. As a result, the Illinois Power Agency will have a predictable and reliable fund to continue procure renewable energy and invest in a clean energy future as initially intended by the RPS.
Currently, SB103 and HB2864 contains a proposal for a fix to the RPS. This issue may be heard during the second week of veto session.
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This action alert is hosted by Illinois Environmental Council for the Illinois Solar Energy Association. Find out more here - http://www.illinoissolar.org/