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Applied Analysis Report Details Net Economic Benefits to Nevada by Cleaning Up Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

LAS VEGAS – Clean Energy Project (CEP) today released a new report produced by Applied Analysis that details the net economic benefits to Nevada under four alternatives, ranging from the maintaining the status quo to those that expand Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the way it is calculated. The study concludes that by increasing and cleaning up Nevada’s current renewable energy mandate, Nevada could reap billions of dollars in wages, salaries and economic output over roughly the next 30 years.
 
In all three alternatives measured against the status quo the study found the net overall economic impacts positive for Nevada. Positive impacts for Nevada are reflected in higher rates of employment, wage and salary payments to Nevada families, and statewide economic output. The potential increased power rates to consumers are largely offset by the avoidance of annual fossil fuel costs that must be imported into Nevada and offer very little economic benefit to Nevadans. The report can be accessed at http://www.cleanenergyprojectnv.org/about/developing-nevadas-clean-energ...
 
The cost of importing fossil fuel into Nevada fluctuates significantly based on market prices. According to NV Energy, the utility spent $1.7 billion in 2008 on fossil fuels while in 2010 and 2011 combined it spent $1.3 billion when prices were at decade lows. 
 
“This report in an invaluable piece of analysis that economically makes the case for Nevada to review the Renewable Portfolio Standard and how we calculate it,” said Lydia Ball, Executive Director of the Clean Energy Project. “Nevada’s RPS is the key policy catalyst for ensuring Nevada’s long-term goals for economic diversification and energy independence are maximized through its vast renewable resources.”
 
“The avoidance of annual fossil fuel costs is what effectively lowers the cost of deploying additional renewable energy in each alternative,” said Jeremy Aguero, Principal, Applied Analysis. “It is this trade off that shifts what would be a negative economic impact to a positive economic impact.”
 
The report’s approach included analysis of the following incremental economic impacts: construction, operations, power rates and avoided fuel costs. The analysis filtered the data through 17 rate impact scenarios, from the lowest (low fossil fuel costs, no outside state sales and no carbon tax), to the highest (high fossil fuel costs, no outside state sales and mid-level carbon tax).
 
The following alternatives for the RPS were analyzed against the status quo (base case):
 
Status Quo: The current RPS calls for the electricity provider to generate, acquire or save electricity from renewable energy or energy efficiency measures in incremental percentages, currently at 18% and increasing to 25% in 2025.
 
Alternative #1: Cleaning up the RPS
 
o Starting in 2014, energy efficiency (demand side management or “DSM”) is excluded from the RPS
 
o Station usage for new renewable resources is excluded from RPS as it dilutes the target amount of renewable energy delivered to the retail customer under the RPS
 
o The photovoltaic (PV) multiplier is eliminated for new PV facilities. The multiplier was included in the RPS in 2001 when PV was significantly more expensive
 
o Range of Positive Net Impacts (2014-2040):
 
- Jobs: +20,878 to +37,777 person years
 
- Labor Income: +$1.5 billion to + $2.2 billion
 
- Economic Output: +$3.7 billion to +$5.8 billion
 
Alternative #2: Expanding the RPS
 
o Starting in 2014, the Nevada’s RPS is increased by 2% per year until it reaches 35% total and continues at that rate in perpetuity
 
o Range of Positive Net Impacts (2014-2040):
 
- Jobs: +24,212 to +42,151 person years
 
- Labor Income: +$1.7 billion to + $2.4 billion
 
- Economic Output: +$4.2 billion to +$6.5 billion
 
Alternative #3: Clean Up and Expand the RPS
 
o Starting in 2014, Nevada’s RPS is increased by 2% per year until it reaches 35% total and continues at that rate in perpetuity
 
o Starting in 2014, energy efficiency (demand side management or “DSM”) is excluded from the RPS
 
o Station usage for new renewable resources is excluded from RPS as it dilutes the target amount of renewable energy delivered to the retail customer under the RPS
 
o The photovoltaic (PV) multiplier is eliminated for new PV facilities. The multiplier was included in the RPS in 2001 when PV was significantly more expensive
 
o Range of Positive Net Impacts (2014-2040):
 
- Jobs: +45,256 to +79,934 person years
 
- Labor Income: +$3.2 billion to + $4.6 billion
 
- Economic Output: +$8.0 billion to +$12.3 billion
 
“What we see when we compare any of these alternatives to the status quo is a real opportunity to grow the state’s economic base by increasing our renewable portfolio,” said Ball. “Compounding this analysis, but not factored in, are the more traditional benefits associated with renewable energy development including lower carbon emissions, positioning Nevada as a renewable energy leader, health impacts due to fossil fuel pollution and fiscal implications associated with goods and/or services that are generated as a result of energy generation or consumption.”
 
About Clean Energy Project:
 
Clean Energy Project, Inc. (CEP) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to powering the clean energy economy through education and engagement with policy leaders, community leaders and citizens on the economic benefits of fully developing a clean energy economy. CEP builds on existing successful policies and advocates for continued development of the west's promising clean energy industry. For more information, please visit CleanEnergyProjectNV.org.
 
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Media Contact:
 
Kate Whiteley / Stephanie Chavez
 
Kirvin Doak Communications – 702.737.3100
 

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