A new report shows that Illinois is lagging behind at least 20 other states when it comes to jobs in the solar industry.
The National Solar Job Census released by The Solar Foundation and Cornell University shows that Illinois expects a 30 percent increase in jobs in the solar industry in 2011 compared to 2010. But that's still not good enough, according to Environment Illinois, which is pushing state lawmakers to come up with incentives to get people off the electricity grid and on to green power.
Environment Illinois wants lawmakers to adopt two policies that would help expand the use of solar power as well as the solar industry.
- First, the state should expand its net metering program, which allows small scale renewable energy installations to sell power to the electricity grid.
- Second, the state should adopt PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing, which would allow homeowners to pay for green energy installations by borrowing money against their property taxes and gradually pay it off over time.
Mark Burger, ISEA President
Despite not having those two policies in place, Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation, says Illinois is making progress. She says there are approximately 533 solar industry jobs in that state and she projects that number to rise to 692 jobs by 2011.
(Illinois Radio Network)