On a strong, bipartisan vote, the Nevada Assembly today voted to pass legislation that strengthens the state’s 20-year-old renewable energy standard, paving the way to enhance Nevada’s clean energy economy and attract billions in potential investment by businesses of all sizes.
Assembly Bill 206, sponsored by Las Vegas Assemblyman Chris Brooks, would increase the percentage of energy Nevada gets from clean sources to 50 percent by 2030. The legislation now moves to the Nevada Senate for consideration.
According to an analysis from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the change in the standard would encourage billions in direct investment from companies hungry for clean energy and support more than 90,000 jobs in construction alone. Nevada’s existing renewable standard has helped establish the clean-energy foundation of the state’s economy and has already attracted billions in investments.
Barrick USA, the state’s largest mining company, and MGM Resorts International, the state’s largest employer, are among the many companies of all sizes supporting the bill.
Advocates for Nevada’s clean energy economy applauded the vote.
“In 1997, Nevada broke ground by passing a clean energy standard that spurred an economic and jobs revolution,” Clean Energy Project State Policy Adviser Jennifer Taylor said. “We were just the second state to do that. And we laid the groundwork for development of clean energy, like solar and geothermal, that has encouraged innovative corporations to locate business here and small business to thrive. Twenty years later, it’s time to strengthen that standard, and encourage a new generation of investment and jobs for Nevada. That’s why small businesses support Assembly Bill 206.”
Supporters pointed to price stability a stronger clean energy standard would give consumers as well.
“Business owners favor predictability and stability because both reduce risk as a component of long-term planning.  AB206 will create predictable and stable clean energy markets, which will lure in more business investment and produce more jobs in Nevada,” said Sondra Cosgrove, president, League of Women Voters of the Las Vegas Valley.  “The Natural Resources Defense Fund estimates that a stronger portfolio of energy efficiency and renewable energy such as solar could attract more than $3 billion in capital investment to Nevada over the coming two decades. AB 206 makes sense for business and for Nevada.”
Advocates also called it a signal that Nevada legislators are serious about making the state a renewable energy leader on the national stage.
“Increasing Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard will create jobs, grow our economy while reducing carbon emissions from our energy sector,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “By moving to a 50 percent by 2030 standard, a bipartisan majority of the Nevada Assembly showed today that it’s serious about job creation and putting Nevada back on top of the clean energy discussion nationally. We applaud the work of Assemblyman Chris Brooks championing and negotiating this legislation and Speaker Frierson for moving it through the Assembly.”
Also Wednesday, the Nevada Assembly concurred with changes from the Nevada Senate and submitted a bill expanding access to energy efficiency measures to low-income families and communities of color. The bill, AB 223, now goes to Gov. Brian Sandoval.