As the buzz around green jobs perks up ears in Illinois, what is the next step to create these opportunities? The answer may lie in the business market. The Environmental Law and Policy Center recently released a report looking at wind power in relation to job opportunities. The federal stimulus funds provided a jump-start to this renewable energy market, and policy decisions also supported this investment. The next step in the growth of the wind power industry, leading to the creation of jobs, lies in the marketplace.
The Illinois Renewable Electricity Standard, which requires utilities to purchase 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025, has businesses beginning to take heed of wind power. In order to really reap the benefits of the wind power industry, more businesses need to invest in this form of energy.
Fortunately, there are a lot of companies in Illinois that are involved in the supply chain of wind industry. In Illinois, more than 100 businesses are connected to wind power production. Of these, 60 are in the Chicago region. What does this mean for Chicagoans? Jobs. But only jobs if the business sector is able to harness the potential of the wind industry. If we want Illinois to be a leader in renewable energy and to create new jobs in these 100 wind power companies, the initial funds and policies are in place. Now it is time to spread the word and grow interest and investment from the marketplace. (Read More)