If 2019 is ending a decade of increased awareness of environmental issues, 2020 will usher in the next decade of more aggressive action on combating climate change in Illinois.
For many local residents, the solution is clear: decarbonizing Illinois’ economy in the fastest and most effective way possible to sustain a healthy environment — while growing jobs and the state’s economy. For business owners, this presents a number of new opportunities to be a part of the solution.
As CEO of Hero Power, a renewable electricity supplier serving northern Illinois, I’ve seen firsthand how this growing sector supports business goals, and has the potential to transform the economy.
State is ready for 100% renewable energy
Organizers pushing for the Clean Energy Jobs Act are quickly gaining support to secure plans for the state’s renewable energy future. The bill outlines how Illinois can achieve 100% renewable energy, creating more than $30 billion in new private investment and preparing the state for the clean, green economy we need to fight climate change. Whether or not this bill passes in the 2020 legislative session, it’s seemingly inevitable that Illinois will join the growing number of states — like New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii — outlining a path to 100% renewable energy.
Chicago didn’t wait. In April, it became the largest city in the United States to commit to 100% clean energy. The City Council unanimously approved a resolution to power all of Chicago’s buildings with clean energy by 2035, and to electrify the CTA’s fleet of 1,850 buses by 2040. Cook County officials are developing a plan to adopt 100% renewables, as well.