Clean & Renewable Energy Sources

To address climate change, the world must require higher efficiency from existing energy sources and move to cleaner power sources. Chicago homes and businesses receive power purchased from the larger regional grid of Midwest plants, which includes nuclear, coal-fired, natural-gas fired and renewable-generation plants. Some of these are a significant source of C02 emissions, especially those that use coal. Upgrading or repowering the 21 coal plants in the state of Illinois, including two in Chicago, could yield a significant reductions, Chicago's share of which would be 2.5 million metric tons of C02e. Implementation of a cap and trade system will also help achieve this goal.

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1. Upgrade Power Plants

Upgrade or repower 21 Illinois power plants = 2.5 MMTCO2e reduction*

2. Improve Power Plant Efficiency

Raise efficiency standards for new and existing power generators = 1.04 MMTCO2e reduction*

3. Build Renewable Electricity

Procure enough renewable energy generation for Chicagoans to reduce electricity emissions by 20 percent = 3.0 MMTCO2e reduction*

4. Increase Distributed Generation

Increase efficient power generated onsite using distributed generation and combined heat and power = 1.12 MMTCO2e reduction*

5. Promote Household Renewable Power

Double current household-scale renewable electricity generation = .28 MMTCO2e reduction*

*MMTCO2e (million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent) is the term for the quantity of any greenhouse gas, including carbon dioxide, methane and others, translated CO2 by weighing it by its relative global warming potential. A reduction of 1 MMTCO2e is equivalent to removing nearly 185,000 cars from the road.


Clean and Renewable Energy Sources Consultants:

Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC)

Bain & Company

Chicago Manufacturing Center

World Business Chicago

Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council

Center for Neighborhood Technology


Clean and Renewable Energy Sources Working Group:


Center for Labor

Chicago Manufacturing Center

Chicago Renewable Energy Corporation




GreatPoint Energy

Indie Energy



Jenner & Block

Lincoln Renewable

Midwest Wind Energy


Recycled Energy

Scott Balice




UIC-Energy Resources Center

Energy Impact Illinois logo

City Seal

Civic Consulting Alliance