9/7/17 – In Illinois’ lagging economy, clean energy a rare bright spot

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2017

Contact:
Billy Weinberg, IL Clean Jobs Coalition, (312) 485-4363

Future Energy Jobs Act could spur even more growth in every part of the state

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition said today that new data on the rate of growth in clean energy jobs was clear evidence that Illinois is headed in the right direction and should accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy for the good of the state’s overall economic health.

“This report gives us a clear and convincing road map of how to rebuild Illinois’ economy: enact policies that promote renewable energy, like wind and solar, and energy efficiency,” the coalition said. “Lawmakers and Gov. Rauner made the right choice in passing the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) last year, and we urge Illinois leaders to continue to focus on clean energy as a way to keep pace with other states for jobs and investments, and to grow our manufacturing base for years to come.”

A new analysis released today by Clean Energy Trust (CET) and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) showed that jobs in the field of clean energy grew in Illinois at a rate of 4.8% between 2015 and 2016. This was six times faster than the rate of growth among jobs in other sectors of the economy, survey authors said.

Meanwhile, jobs in renewable energy grew at an even higher rate of 13.7%.

“To create a robust economy in this state, there are few things that Illinois can do that will make as much of an impact as harnessing the power of wind and solar, while taking steps to curb the energy that homes and businesses waste. A field that creates jobs six times faster than other sectors is one to be promoted at every opportunity,” the coalition said.

Overall, clean energy accounted for more than 119,000 jobs in Illinois, of which more than 93,000 were in the field of energy efficiency. Almost a quarter of all clean energy jobs (23%) were in manufacturing.

The data were released as part of the annual Clean Jobs Midwest Survey conducted by CET and E2. The results also showed that Illinois has the most people employed in clean energy than any other Midwestern state. The full report can be viewed at www.CleanJobsMidwest.com.

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