Home Means (a Clean Energy Powered) Nevada
Nevada is becoming known as a center for clean energy industries. It’s a natural direction for a state that has such an abundance of the natural resources that produce clean energy and such a scarcity of coal.
As Nevada’s official song says, the Silver State is the place “where the sun always shines” and “where the wind blows wild and free.” If Bertha Raffetto had been writing a few decades later, she might have added that home means Nevada, where, ‘’[i]n numerous areas, tucked below the mountains, rest underground reservoirs with super-heated fluid,” a phrase as close to poetry as it gets in reports from the Geothermal Energy Association.
This October 31st, Nevada will celebrate 150 years of statehood. As we look around today’s Nevada, we’re pleased and proud to see the significant steps we’ve taken to use local, sustainable resources to grow our economy, create jobs, attract business and encourage innovation. Recently, the news has been full of Nevada’s clean energy growth, including the opening of the One Nevada Transmission Line early in the year, the recent announcement that SunRun is planning to follow SolarCity’s footsteps and expand in Nevada, new large-scale solar projects in the works, and Tesla’s decision to build a battery factory in the state. Clean energy industries are paying attention - the wind and geothermal industries held their major annual events in Nevada this year, and the Solar Power International convention is coming up in Las Vegas on October 20th.
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said during September’s National Clean Energy Summit, we did not get here by chance. We needed smart policies, like Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, and smart investments like the Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program. These policies have paid off. Nevada’s investment of $500 million dollars in tax abatements has attracted over $5 billion dollars of capital investment in clean energy projects to the state, a 10 to 1 return on our investment.
This October, Nevadans across the state will be celebrating Nevada in song, speech and social media. Let’s enjoy every moment of this anniversary. But let’s also remember that it’s not enough to merely wax poetic about sun, wind and geothermal hotspots. We need to keep working: to protect and promote good policies that are already in place, to show how strongly Nevadans support growing our clean energy economy, and to keep creating the conditions that make Nevada a clean energy leader.