Although the Illinois Legislature in 1977 mandated that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity educate and promote solar energy to the citizens of Illinois, that mandate was superseded by the influence of the coal industry. Solar and wind energy programs have not been developed or considered to be an important consideration of Illinois energy policy. The lack of funding and tax applications to renewable energy indicate loud and clear the direction Illinois is headed. Fossil fuel dominates now and will do so in the future.
There is a Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program handled through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity that is focused on smaller- scale solar and wind energy systems in Illinois. Applicants who are eligible include
customers of an electric or gas utility that pay the Renewable Energy Resources and Coal Technology Development Assistance Charge. The rebate program was so successful that the budget for this program at DCEO is depleted and the FY 2013 Solar and Wind Rebate Program is closed.
On DCEO’s Renewable Energy web site, it was stated that there may be funding for this program in September 2013. Wayne Hartel is the contact at DCEO, and his phone number is 217-785-3420.