Renewable energy policy advocates in Illinois have been very busy for the last several years and it shows. The state’s renewable energy goal (known as an “RPS target”) is 25% renewable by 2025. The RPS target also includes a solar specific goal of 6% starting in 2015. Once the solar goal goes into effect, Illinois will likely be the leader of solar capacity in the Midwest and in the top ten nation wide. But we have a lot of work to do between now and 2015 to make the solar goal work.
Policy Needs and Next Steps
Building an instate solar industry that can help the state meet its solar target requires some regulatory and legislative tweaks. While the state has an impressive overall solar goal, many of the underlying rules and regulations still need to be hammered out. For the rooftop solar market, a solar incentive program needs creation. And for the larger sized solar projects, the centralized state energy procurement has to set up a program that attracts solar developers.
Several policies that make solar markets work, including long-term contracts for developers and net metering, need to be improved. We’re planning to pull all the Illinois solar enthusiasts out of the woodwork to help make it a hot new solar market. Just know- solar is no longer just the stuff of deserts and palm trees, PV now has its place among silos and cornfields.
In 2001, the state passed the Illinois Resource Development and Energy Security Act, which included a voluntary renewable-energy goal of 5% by 2010 and 15% by 2020. The 2001 act did not include an implementation schedule, compliance rules, credit-trading provisions, or an energy-efficiency portfolio goal. In July 2005, the ICC adopted a resolution encouraging utilities to commit to a voluntary renewable portfolio goal of 8% by 2013, and an energy efficiency portfolio goal that utilities should reduce load growth by of 25% during 2015-2017.
Over the years the RPS target was increased. In 2009, Public Act 96-0159 was signed into law, increasing the standard to 25% renewable by 2025 and beyond.
Vote Solar’s lead for Illinois is Annie Lappé, who can be reached email@example.com, 720.402.9102