The Nevada Legislature and our Clean Energy Economy
The 78th Session of the Nevada Legislature begins on February 2, 2015. If you support clean energy in Nevada, it’s important to stay informed and be involved.
State policy is one of the strongest tools we have for growing Nevada’s clean energy economy. In fact, much of Nevada’s strong growth as a clean energy hub can be credited to a history of smart state clean energy policies. For example, as we documented in our 2014 white paper, the Renewable Energy Tax Abatement Program has brought over 5 billion dollars of outside investment to clean energy in the state. Other programs implemented by the Legislature have increased the growth of clean energy at every level, including residential solar installations, small business efficiency upgrades, sustainable construction and large projects of all sorts.
With strong bi-partisan support for clean energy policy, and with no native coal resources, Nevada’ s decision-makers have often led the way on other clean energy policy as well. In 1997, for example, Nevada was one of the first states to adopt a Renewable Portfolio Standard, which sets targets for the use of clean energy to supply retail electricity needs. In 2013, the Nevada Legislature passed SB 123, a groundbreaking bill that brought stakeholders together to begin divesting Nevada from coal-fired energy. As part of that decision, in December 2014, Nevada Energy announced that the Reid Gardner Power Plant had retired three of its four coal-generated units.
It’s too early to know what the 2015 Legislative Session will bring for clean energy in Nevada. We do know that policy can make the difference in creating, and maintaining, Nevada’s growth as a vibrant, growing, clean energy hub. We’ll be watching closely, and we hope you will too.