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Illinois's Transition to Clean Energy Could Generate 150,000 additional jobs by 2050, New Study Shows


Tuesday, January 24, 2023  |  Article  |  BW Research Partnership

CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- BW Research published the Jobs & Equitable Energy Transition Study, to provide a first-of-its-kind study for Illinois to examine the employment impacts of a transition to a decarbonized energy economy. The study was commissioned by ComEd to better understand the economic and workforce development challenges and opportunities Illinois will face in the transition to decarbonized energy.  Building upon recent work BW Research has completed in examining the transition to a low or no carbon economy in Massachusetts, New York, and other states, BW Research modeled the projected impacts of two possible decarbonization scenarios. 


A key finding of the report is that by 2030, the higher paying - what the study identifies as "tier 1 jobs", or those which pay at least $37 an hour -  will grow by at least nine percent, while lower paying ("tier 3" jobs, or those which pay less than $27 an hour) do not grow or even slightly decline in the four key sectors that were most impacted by the transition to clean energy. 


The study examines the impacts to regional and statewide employment from two scenarios on the transition to a net zero energy future. It captures initial and secondary employment outputs across four sectors of the economy – electricity, fuels, transportation and buildings – and quantifies employment impacts for growth and areas of displacement across these four sectors to determine outcomes on industries, occupations, and job quality.


The first scenario assumes a business-as-usual approach that examines the impact of decarbonization driven by laws such as Illinois' Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) and the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on employment across the state. It assumes no additional efforts to accelerate the electrification of transportation, buildings or industry. Under this scenario, Illinois would see a net increase of 15,000 jobs between 2021 to 2030, and an increase of 38,000 jobs between 2021 to 2050.


The second scenario includes those same projections but factors in additional actions beyond CEJA and the IRA that achieve economywide decarbonization by 2050, such as high levels of electrification. This scenario finds a net increase of 41,000 jobs in Illinois between 2021 and 2030 and a net increase of 151,000 jobs between 2021 to 2050.


"As evidenced by this foundational study, Illinois stands to gain tens of thousands of good-paying jobs from the transition to a clean energy future – and we must ensure that all communities benefit from this economic opportunity," said ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones. "This research will help ensure that, working with community partners, we can build a diverse pipeline of talent ready to power the state's journey to a cleaner, brighter future."


The full report, Jobs & Equitable Energy Transition Study is available for download at https://bwresearch.com/docs/BW_ComED-Jobs&EquitableEnergyTransitionStudyReport2022.pdf


About BW Research Partnership


BW Research is a full-service applied research firm and a national leader in economic and workforce impact research. BW Research has substantial experience developing customized research projects and a deep understanding of the energy sector and its employers, workforce, and supply chain dynamics. The firm has designed and conducted more than 500 studies for public, private, and not-for-profit organizations globally that have directly impacted federal, state, and local initiatives. For more information on BW Research or to view other reports and publications, please visit https://bwresearch.com/.


About ComEd


ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4

million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.