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Clean Energy Jobs Surging in Illinois

By JoshMogerman in News on Mar 22, 2014 8:00PM

Windmill Land! [Duane Rapp]

Illinois may be coal country, but some portions of the state are cleaning up nicely: Illinois leads the nation in green building space and, more locally, the Loop is embracing energy efficiency.

Furthermore, Forbes practically deemed the Land of Lincoln a land of clean energy last year. Heck, the President traveled out to Argonne to talk about clean energy and Illinois.

All that action means jobs. Lots of them.

A new survey out this week says the number of clean energy jobs will top 100,000 in the state this year.

That’s more folks than all of Illinois’ accountants and real estate professionals combined. That’s more than a lot of the companies in the Fortune 100, including Apple and Royal Dutch Shell.

Those folks work in energy efficiency businesses installing smart lighting and HVAC systems (work that accounts for about 62 percent of the jobs), as well as renewable energy. (21 percents of the jobs involve wind, solar and geothermal energy projects).

The full study and associated interactives are online. They draw a compelling picture of a rapidly expanding industry that is changing how we should be thinking of Illinois’ energy landscape.