Data suggests passage of CEJA will spur even greater job growth
CHICAGO – According to the E2 Clean Jobs America 2022 report released yesterday, Illinois currently ranks 5th in the country with 119,853 clean energy jobs in 2021, a 4.9% increase over 2020 despite last year’s “solar cliff,” when state funding and incentives for rooftop and other solar installations dried up.
According to the report, “States that recently passed major climate and clean energy legislation benefited from dramatic growth, reinforcing the fact that smart policies create good jobs. New Mexico, for instance, saw an 8 percent jump in clean energy jobs after passing sweeping clean energy legislation in 2020-2021.”
This enhanced job growth data for states passing clean energy legislation bodes well for Illinois, where the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), the nation-leading climate and clean energy jobs bill, was passed with a strong bipartisan majority and signed into law by Governor Pritzker on September 15, 2021.
Anecdotal data suggests Illinois is already experiencing a strong surge in solar installations as a result of CEJA, and it is expected that 2022 data will show significant growth in community solar, rooftop solar, energy efficiency, wind, energy storage, and clean transportation jobs in Illinois, all spurred by CEJA.
Standing at the Gar Creek Solar project, a large community solar array built in Kankakee, Emily Hammermeister of Trajectory Energy Partners projected huge job growth spurred by the passage of CEJA.
“Because of CEJA, we’re going to be seeing more sites just like this built throughout the entire state. It’s going to promote clean energy, jobs, as well as equity. This site specifically was built with union labor, so it allowed for folks who maybe were not able to have a job in the solar industry to do so,” said Hammermeister.
In a recent Solar Power World article entitled, “Pivot Energy starts construction on 10 community solar projects in Illinois,” the company applauded CEJA’s impact on economic growth and job creation.
“We applaud Governor Pritzker’s efforts to transition Illinois to clean energy,” said Garrett Peterson, Senior Vice President of Project Development of Pivot Energy. “Our company is proud to employ Illinoisans and invest in the local economy in our effort to deploy renewable energy for those who previously did not have access,” Peterson told Solar Power.
The E2 Clean Jobs America 2022 can be accessed here.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) is made up of more than 200 climate groups, healthcare professionals, environmental justice champions, businesses, community leaders, labor unions, consumer advocates, faith-based and student organizations.
Following ICJC’s central role in the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act in 2016, the diverse coalition spent more than three years organizing and holding more than 100 “Listen. Lead. Share.” events to gather feedback and policy ideas from residents across Illinois. The work centered around a simple but urgent rallying cry: CEJA can’t wait.
The wait ended on September 15, 2021 when Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the most equitable clean energy jobs bill of its kind in the nation: the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA).
Visit ilcleanjobs.org to learn more.