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Published on March 7th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

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91 Illinois Communities Powered 100% By Green Electricity

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March 7th, 2014 by
 
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Article by the WWF.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 7, 2014 – Illinois has embraced renewable electricity on a massive scale not seen anywhere else in the nation, says a new report, Leading from the Middle: How Illinois Communities Unleashed Renewable Energy. With 91 communities providing 100% renewable electricity to their residents, the state far outpaces any other, including Ohio, which has two cities providing 100% renewable electricity.

The report was released today by World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, LEAN Energy US, the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Illinois Sierra Club, and The George Washington University Solar Institute.

“The findings of today’s report are an example of Illinois leading our country’s movement to a more sustainable future from the community level,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “Communities up and down the state have banded together to pursue renewable electricity, reducing both their utility costs and the state’s environmental footprint. Illinois is showing what can happen when change at the local level is harnessed to create a collective movement, and I hope other states take notice.”

Each community in Illinois independently voted to purchase electricity through renewable energy credits, leveraging their group buying power to receive renewable electricity while also reducing overall electricity cost.

“Without fanfare, 91 local governments in Illinois have decided that renewable electricity is the best option,” said Keya Chatterjee, director of renewable energy and footprint outreach at WWF. “No one knew this was happening, and I doubt anyone would have guessed. America’s green energy revolution is here; and it starts in Illinois.”

The 91 communities that have transitioned to 100% renewable electricity represent more than 1.7 million individuals. Demand for renewable energy from the state is more than six terawatt hours, a reduction in greenhouse gas comparable to taking more than one million cars off the road.

“We are seeing the power of letting communities choose their electricity supply,” said Sarah Wochos, senior policy advocate at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Across Illinois, cities and towns are asking for clean, renewable energy, and we encourage them to use that power to bring new renewable energy projects to their communities.”

Illinois is one of six states in the country that currently allows community choice aggregation (CCA), a system by which communities can use their bulk purchasing power to solicit bids from energy providers. Requests for bids can stipulate the mix of energy sources, and as seen in Illinois, can require that all electricity is offset by renewable energy credits – energy that comes from sources like wind, solar, and geothermal. Other states allowing CCA are New Jersey, Ohio, California, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. The report includes guidance for local governments in CCA states wishing to pursue aggregation as well as recommendations for expanding CCA.

ABOUT WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.

Image Credit: Illinois flag via Shutterstock

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  • MichaelDSmith

    The message is that no power from fossil fueled power plants ever flows into 91 communities. The fuel is 100% renewable, meaning 0 electrons flow to these communities from fossil fuel plants.

    Please provide a list of these communities and their power providers. I would like to verify that the above statements are true.

    Or are you going to begin telling the truth about the above renewable energy claims before I do it for you?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Read the article.

      Those communities are buying their electricity from renewable sources.

      If you want to get a wonky and talk about how wind, solar and coal electricity gets all mixed together on the grid you can do that. But you miss the point and waste your time.

      • MichaelDSmith

        I did read the article. It says “Requests for bids can stipulate the mix of energy sources, and as seen in Illinois, can require that all electricity is offset by renewable energy credits – energy that comes from sources like wind, solar, and geothermal.”

        So it has nothing to do with actual renewable energy, this is just another Climate Industrial Complex marketing scam about how communities can #ActOnClimate by forcing their communities to buy offsets on their bogus carbon offset program, thereby improving the return on WWF’s investments in carbon markets (which have collapsed to near zero, losing investors $millions).

        If you disagree, Bob, you will provide the evidence of which 91 communities actually used 6 terawatt hours of renewable energy, or 684 megawatts x 24 x 7 x 365. Bonus: What renewable energy locations were the sources of the 684MW, and what technology did they use?

        Remember. The article came from WWF, a major Climate Industrial Complex CO2 profiteer. If they can defend the claims with data, so be it. But consider the track record of the CIC marketing department so far. I don’t hold out much hope that any of these claims are even remotely true. If they are valid claims, provide the evidence.

  • John I

    Good news. It shows what can be accomplished when you give communities choice which is the way it should be. Those communities will benefit more as fossil fuels become more expensive. CCA is neither left or right politically.

  • JamesWimberley

    “Illinois has embraced renewable electricity on a massive scale not seen
    anywhere else in the nation.” That can’t be right. California has far
    more solar than any other US state; Iowa and Texas have far more wind. The proposition must refer only to municipal initiatives. Good news does not need to be oversold, and hype leads to discredit.

  • Banned by Bob
    • Bob_Wallace

      Please, no naked links.

      If you have a point to make then make it. Use the link as a backup.

      • Banned by Bob

        OK

        The point is that real incomes are on the decline in Illinois, and that jobs are leaving the state. Similar to another heavily indebted and overtaxed state, California, but without the weather and scenery.

        Renewable energy has a very promising future, but only if it is part of an economy that is sustainable in its own right.

        • Bob_Wallace

          You seem to get your information from questionable sources.

          California is doing just fine.

          • Banned by Bob

            Zero job creation in the past 10+ years. Not my definition of doing fine. It’s great if you work at Google or Apple.

          • Bob_Wallace

            *LEADING JOB CREATION: *California added over 230,000 new jobs in 2013 and over a million new jobs since the end of the recession.

            *TOP 5 GDP GROWTH:* California’s GDP growth rate was 3.5 percent in 2012 – fifth best in the nation.

            *MULTIPLE NATION LEADING SECTORS:* Where other states have one or two main economic sectors, California has several — all of which lead the nation. California is first in high tech, biotech, agriculture, entertainment, manufacturing, tourism and more.

            *MANUFACTURING JOB INCREASE:* After ten plus years of manufacturing job losses, California posted three consecutive years of manufacturing job gains in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

            *RECORD EXPORTS:* In trade, California merchandise exports grew to $164 billion last year — a record export high for the state. Our nation leading tourism sector boasts over 200 million visitors in 2012 with direct travel spending of more than $106.4 billion.

            *NO. 1 STATE FOR MANUFACTURING: *California is by far the number one state for manufacturing jobs, firms and output – accounting for 11.7 percent of the total output, and employing 9 percent of the workforce. CA manufacturing generates $229.9 billion, more than any other state.

            *IT JOBS EXCEED PRE-RECESSION LEVELS:* Information technology jobs have rebounded and exceeded pre-recession levels. California remains the top state for information technology jobs which drives venture capital investment, patents, innovation and ultimately the strength of our workforce.

            *HEALTHCARE SECTOR GROWING:* California healthcare jobs maintained consistent growth through the recession, adding 27,500 jobs per year.

            *NATION LEADING BIOTECHNOLOGY SECTOR:* California’s 2,324 biomedical companies employ 269,976 people. This industry accounts for $115 billion in annual revenues – which is more than the annual Gross State Product of 18 U.S. states.

            *HOME TO MOST FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES: *California leads Fortune’s 2012 list with 24 of the 100 Fastest Growing companies, more than double our next closest competitor Texas.

            http://business.ca.gov/WhyCA/CaliforniaEconomybytheNumbers.aspx

            California’s population grew by roughly 332,000 people in the last fiscal year.

          • Banned by Bob

            Unemployment. 8.8%

            2005 Employment 16.6MM
            2012 Employment. 16.6MM

            Reduction in number of companies in 2012; 73,000. Worst in US. Second was Massachusetts at 5,000.

            Ranked worst in US small business policies by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.

            http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-07-03/why-are-californias-businesses-disappearing

            So California has always been our largest economy, but it is resting on its laurels as far as supporting its small businesses.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Keep thinking that Ca is a terrible place.

            It keeps the right wingers away.

          • Banned by Bob

            Where did a say California is a terrible place? Sounds like a third grade argument. My arguments are clear that they are damaging their economy with poor policy decisions.

          • MichaelDSmith

            Now THAT is funny.

        • RAKraemer

          A well-designed shift to renewable energies produces oodles of economic benefits:
          http://raandreaskraemer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-economic-or-competitive-advantages.html

          • Banned by Bob

            It can. Germany has a different set of circumstances that favor this approach. One, an unhealthy dependence on Russian energy imports and, two, a much higher cost of energy on the margin than found in the US.

          • RAKraemer

            Cost of energy or prices for energy? Electricity for industrial users is “dirt cheap” in Germany. The prices don‘t reflect the cost. The opposite is true for energy prices for households and small businesses, because of taxation designed to stimulate energy efficiency. US would have much lower cost of renewable energy supply than Germany, and could make the transition even faster. The US has the advantages of the “close follower” riding in the slip stream of the (current but temporary) technology leader. Go for it!

          • Banned by Bob

            I meant the wholesale cost of imported Russian natural gas.

            The US should benefit from more efficient technologies as high cost regions such as Asia and Europe use renewables to economically back out more expensive fuels.

          • RAKraemer

            Cost of Russian gas is high not only in economic but also in political and diplomatic terms. You see that on the news every day now.

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