Clean energy companies employed more than 123,000 Illinoisans at the end of 2022, growing by more than 3,000 jobs, a 3 percent increase from 2021 and 8 percent increase since 2020. Illinois leads the Midwest in the generation, grid & storage, energy efficiency, and clean fuels sectors. Clean energy is a significant part of Illinois’ economy: more than three times as many Illinoisans worked in clean energy than the number of lawyers, web developers, and real estate agents combined. In 2022, clean energy jobs grew faster than the overall economy, and this growth is expected to continue as state policy and federal clean energy and vehicle incentives lead to new clean energy projects, a resurgence of domestic manufacturing, and lower upfront costs for homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements.
The biggest sector in Illinois’ clean energy industry is energy efficiency, comprising over 68 percent of the state’s clean energy workforce. The 84,351 energy efficiency workers in Illinois manufacture ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, install efficient lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and install advanced building materials in homes and commercial buildings.
As more automakers and their suppliers continued to shift to electric vehicles, the clean transportation sector saw an increase in employment of nearly 7 percent in Illinois. The sector added almost 900 new jobs for a total of 13,968 workers. Electric vehicle-related jobs accounted for most of the sector’s growth.
Renewable energy jobs in solar (8% growth) continue to see gains throughout the state while smaller, emerging subsectors like battery storage technologies (7% growth) and grid modernization (12% growth) are also continuing to grow.
Clean energy jobs are found in every corner of the state. While Chicago is the largest hub for clean energy with 85,415 jobs, more than 17,000 jobs are in rural areas.
Recent federal policies, like the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and the CHIPS and Science Act, as well as state laws like the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act make unprecedented investments in the clean energy economy and create promise for strong future growth in clean energy jobs.
Still, there is more to do to meet the nation’s climate goals of reducing climate emissions by 50 percent by 2030, improving equity in the clean energy economy, and growing clean energy jobs:
Across all clean energy sectors, the majority of clean energy jobs in Illinois were in construction and professional services.
Learn even more about clean energy jobs in the Midwest.More Jobs Data
Energy Employment Report (2023 USEER), produced by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership (BWRP).