Although energy conservation remains a key priority, the region must make a more aggressive shift to renewable energy. Solar, wind, and nuclear energy generation produces little to no emissions compared with traditional fossil fuel-based sources. For electric vehicles to become truly sustainable, the Chicago region would need to make strides toward increasing its percentage of renewable energy generation. Recent updates to the state’s renewable portfolio standard are anticipated to accelerate development of wind and solar. The City of Chicago and Cook County, in partnership with energy service providers, have both offered bulk solar programs to reduce prices for users. Utilities and municipalities can work together to remove regulatory barriers and reduce costs of clean energy generation and distribution, from small-scale rooftop solar panels to district energy systems. The development of renewable energy systems goes hand in hand with more decentralized energy generation; for more information see the Create a more flexible and decentralized electric grid strategy.

Action 1

Continue to diversify their energy portfolio to include a greater share of renewable sources.


Energy service providers, such as ComEd

Action 2

Continue to advance renewable portfolio standards, and keep pace with technological changes.


State and federal governments

Action 3

Allow and promote renewable energy systems in zoning, building, design guidelines, and energy codes and explore bulk purchasing options.


Local governments

Action 4

Develop template renewable energy ordinance language and design guidelines for use by local governments.