The governor's proposed
Renewable Portfolio Standard would require electric utilities or
other electricity suppliers to provide 2 percent renewable energy to
their Illinois customers by 2006, increasing 1 percent annually to 8
percent by 2012. This requirement would mean that nearly 4,000
megawatts of power be generated by renewable sources by 2012, enough
to serve nearly 1 million Illinois households. At least 75 percent
of renewable energy, or 3,000 megawatts, would be generated by wind
"While our energy needs continue to
grow, we remain dependent on imported energy sources such as coal
and natural gas to power our homes and businesses," the governor
said. "The Renewable Portfolio Standard proposal will increase our
use of Illinois' untapped renewable natural resources like wind
power. Boosting our use of clean, renewable, homegrown energy will
put Illinois on a path toward greater energy security."
The governor's Illinois Sustainable
Energy Plan also calls for an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard
that would lead to greater investment by electric utilities in
programs that save energy.
"Upgrading heating and cooling
systems and replacing inefficient lights and appliances with less
power-hungry equipment will slow the growth of our energy use and
help lower energy bills for businesses and families across
Illinois," the governor said. "Investing in energy efficiency will
not only save money but will help prevent blackouts by taking
pressure off the grid."
Consumer advocates and environmental
groups alike strongly support the governor's plan. "The combination
of investing in cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable
energy will pay off for consumers in the form of lower, more stable
electricity rates," explained Martin Cohen, executive director of
the Citizen's Utility Board. "The governor's plan brings Illinois
into the forefront of a national movement toward a sustainable
energy future that reduces our dependence on vanishing resources."
The Environmental Law and Policy
Center, a longtime champion of renewable energy, calls Gov.
Blagojevich's Illinois Sustainable Energy Plan "a winner for
Illinois." "This is a historic pro-environmental step that will
create good new jobs and spur rural economic development in some of
the places in Illinois that need it most," said Howard Learner,
executive director of the environmental center. "We look forward to
working with the Illinois Commerce Commission toward its swift
approval of the governor's initiative so that Illinois can capture
the environmental and economic benefits quickly."
If adopted, the
Illinois Sustainable Energy Plan could generate more than $2 billion
in investments in Illinois, creating about 2,000 construction jobs
and hundreds of permanent jobs.
Both of Illinois' two largest
electric utilities, Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Corporation, have
also endorsed the governor's plan, noting that it is a sensible and
responsible approach to ensure Illinois' energy future is bright.
"Ameren is committed to working with
the governor and the Illinois Commerce Commission to achieve the
governor's vision of renewables in Illinois' energy future," said
Steven Sullivan, Ameren senior vice president. "The governor's goal
would put Illinois on the cutting edge of renewable energy when
compared to other states."
"We are very supportive of Governor
Blagojevich environmental initiatives, including the use of
renewable energy resources and energy efficiency technologies," said
Frank Clark, executive vice president and chief of staff for Exelon
and president of ComEd. "Over the last five years ComEd has invested
more than $350 million to develop renewable energy resources,
improve efficiency, and preserve and restore natural areas.
Renewable energy will be an important future energy source."
The Illinois Sustainable Energy Plan
is the culmination of years of dedicated work by environmental
groups and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who chaired Gov. Blagojevich's
Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois
Energy Infrastructure. Task force recommendations issued last year
included both renewable energy and energy efficiency as key
strategies to bolster Illinois' energy infrastructure.
Given the broad support for this
proposal, the governor expects that the ICC will promptly take his
recommendations under consideration and vote to adopt a final plan
as soon as possible.
[News release from the
[to top of second column in
Text of governor's letter
accompanying his proposal to the Illinois Commerce Commission:
Office of the Governor
February 11, 2005
Ed Hurley, Chairman
Illinois Commerce Commission
160 North LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60601
The time has come for Illinois to take
a bold step toward energy independence. As you well know, demand for
electricity in Illinois continues to grow while we remain largely
dependent on imported energy sources of coal, natural gas and
nuclear fuel. Boosting our reliance on homegrown sources of
renewable energy and increasing our investment in energy efficiency
measures will not only help Illinois become more energy
self-sufficient but provide great benefits to the people of our
state, including cleaner air, new jobs, investment in rural
communities, as well as the financial and other benefits derived
from greater diversity in energy generation.
Because of these benefits I submit for
your consideration a proposal for a Sustainable Energy Plan for
Illinois. This proposal, if adopted, will create a framework that
will allow Illinois citizens to reap the benefits of our renewable
resources, including significant new investment in wind power and
other sources of renewable energy generation in Illinois without
raising rates for consumers.
The proposal … reflects the general
consensus among key stakeholders, including Illinois’ largest
electric utility companies, environmental, and consumer groups. The
plan also incorporates several of the key recommendations of the
Illinois Energy Task Force I appointed following the August, 2003
blackout and chaired by Lt. Governor Pat Quinn.
I was pleased to receive your recent
December 2, 2004 letter addressed to the Illinois General Assembly
and to me in which you emphasized the importance of creating a
"level playing field" for alternative energy resources. I share the
Commission’s view that renewable energy sources can help meet the
needs of Illinois electricity customers and that such resources are
particularly desirable because, as the Commission noted, "renewable
resources are considered to have lower environmental impacts than
traditional supply sources and are therefore advocated on this
basis." Similarly, energy efficiency measures offer substantial
environmental and economic benefits.
To further these objectives and the
renewable energy goals established in the Illinois Resource
Development and Energy Security Act (20 ILCS 688), I have developed
a proposal for a Sustainable Energy Plan for the Commission’s
consideration that includes both a Renewable Energy Portfolio
Standard and an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. The Renewable
Energy Portfolio Standard proposal includes: renewable energy
procurement requirements for electric utilities and alternative
retail energy suppliers, eligibility criteria for resources that can
be used to meet … those requirements, a competitive approach to
renewable energy procurement, cost recovery provisions,
consideration of renewable energy trading, a mechanism to ensure
compliance with the Renewable Portfolio Standard, and a process to
assess the effectiveness of the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Similar provisions are presented for the Energy Efficiency Portfolio
Thank you in advance for your prompt
consideration of this proposal.