Illinois is Keeping Momentum Going Toward Clean Energy
The U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) will release its final Clean Power Plan this summer—a rule that requires states to reduce the carbon emissions from power plants by 2030, and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has released a national analysis showing that Illinois is well-positioned to meet the draft rule.
With Illinois’ renewable electricity and energy efficiency standards and coal plant closures, it is slated to be 82 percent of the way toward meeting the non-mandatory, near-term 2020 benchmark the EPA set for it, which helps ensure that each state is on a path to comply with the 2030 goal.
A renewable electricity standard requires utilities to produce 25 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2025. An energy efficiency standard requires utilities to reduce energy demand by 2 percent each year. Eight units that produce 12 percent of the state’s coal-fired generation will retire between 2012 and 2020.
Illinois can further meet its mandatory 2030 emissions reduction requirement by creating a regional program that allows Midwest states to work together to reduce emissions, and Illinois state regulators and utilities are considering this approach.
The state can also strengthen its renewable electricity and energy efficiency standards. A recent UCS analysis found that requiring utilities to generate 35% of their electricity with renewable resources by 2030 and reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2025 would reduce the typical residential customer’s electricity bill 11 percent, or $10 a month, in 2020 and 23 percent, or $22 a month, in 2030.
For more information, visit Tinyurl.com/CleanPowerBenchmarks.