Twenty years after Nevada became one of the first states in the country to adopt a novel experiment in energy policy – a Renewable Portfolio Standard that required the electric utility to give consumers a portion of their power from clean energy sources like the sun, the wind, and geothermal – advocates applauded a measure to modernize the law.
A measure that started modestly and increased with bipartisan support from Nevada’s Legislature and Governors over the last two decades, the standard helped make the state a clean energy jobs leader. The proposal being considered today would raise the existing standard of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 to 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2040, and has broad support in the Silver State.
The Assembly Subcommittee on Energy heard testimony today on the renewable standard, Assembly Bill 206. Supporters say the legislation will bring the state to the forefront of clean energy development again, increase employment in the state, and meet demand from large companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon, which are insisting on clean energy for their Nevada facilities.
Nevada’s clean energy and energy efficiency economy already employs more than 20,000 people in the state, which has virtually limitless renewable resources, and would expand under this proposal.
Increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard would help continue the clean-energy economic expansion supported by Gov. Brian Sandoval and legislative leaders, including Assemblyman Chris Brooks of Las Vegas, the sponsor of AB 206. The measure has support from various communities affected by the legislation.
“Communities of color are strengthening Nevada’s clean-energy economy,” said Rudy Zamora, executive director of Chispa Nevada, a Latino organization working to support the clean-energy economy. “Over the last two decades, the renewable standard has helped our state grow tens of thousands of jobs. At the same time, it has helped clean up our air and water. Today, every higher-education public school in Nevada offers training, certifications or degrees in clean energy. A stronger renewable standard will mean more jobs, more careers and more of our families making Nevada our clean-energy home.”
“Today, Nevada’s legislature will hear arguments about Assemblyman Chris Brooks’ bill to raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030, with a path to 80 percent by 2040,” said Elspeth DiMarzio, a Sierra Club campaign representative. “Nevada has already proven it can lead on clean energy development, and the RPS bill will keep the momentum going to create new jobs, secure low-cost energy rates, and protect the health of our air and water.”
“Nevada has some of the nation’s best solar and geothermal resources, but the current renewable portfolio standard is not driving development, and it needs to be increased substantially,” said Dylan Sullivan, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Making Nevada a clean energy leader will diversify the state’s economy, create new jobs, and improve air quality.”
“Climate change is the deepest challenge facing our kids, and renewable energy is the solution – and tremendous opportunity – that they need and deserve,” said John Friedrich, Climate Parents online campaign manager. “Parents and grandparents across Nevada are in strong support of bold action like AB 206 to move us quickly from imported, polluting fossil fuels, to homegrown, clean sources like solar, wind and geothermal.”
“We applaud Assemblyman Chris Brooks and State Senator Pat Spearman’s continued leadership powering Nevada forward with ambitious and achievable clean energy goals,” said Jessica Scott, Regional Director, Interior West at Vote Solar. “Their commitment will create economic growth, local jobs, and healthy communities to the Silver State.”