Illinois Requires 25 Percent Renewable Power by 2025

September 5, 2007

Photo of an array of wind turbines on a rural landscape.

The new Illinois renewable energy requirement relies heavily on wind power.
Credit: FPL Energy

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a bill on August 28th that requires the state's electric utilities to draw on renewable energy for 25% of their electricity needs by 2025. The renewable energy requirement starts at 2% of the power supply on June 1st, 2008, and ratchets up to 10% of the power supply on June 1st, 2015, then increases by 1.5% per year until 2025. The law requires 75% of the renewable power to come from wind energy. Other than wind power, the law also allows solar energy, biomass energy, hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of dams, and "other alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy."

The renewable energy requirement applies to electric utilities that serve at least 100,000 customers within the state. It allows those utilities to meet the requirements with renewable energy credits and gives preference first to projects within the state, then to projects in adjacent states, then to projects located elsewhere. The law also places limits on the cost impacts of the renewable requirement, allowing utilities to fall short of the requirement if the cost impact is too great.

The renewable energy requirement is part of a larger law that establishes the Illinois Power Agency, which has broad powers to develop electricity procurement plans; conduct competitive procurements; build electric power or cogeneration plants that use renewable energy, coal, or both, financed with bonds issued by the Illinois Finance Authority; and supply electricity at cost to municipal electric systems, governmental aggregators, and rural electric cooperatives. With those powers, the new agency will help large utilities plan their renewable power procurements while building some of the renewable power facilities needed to meet the requirement. See the press release from the Environmental Law & Policy Center (PDF 26 KB) and the full text of the law, Public Act 095-0481 (PDF 412 KB). Download Adobe Reader.