Nevada Legislature Passes Renewables Bill; Groups Urge Governor’s Signature

Posted by Betsy Lillian on June 08, 2017 No Comments
Categories : Policy Watch

A bill increasing Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 40% by 2030 is awaiting action from Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is being pushed by renewable energy groups to give the bill the green light.

In a letter to Sandoval from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Geothermal Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the groups note that the state last updated its RPS – 25% by 2025 – back in 2009; therefore, “it is time for Nevada to expand this successful state policy,” they write. The legislation, A.B.206, was passed earlier this week in the Nevada Senate.

In the past eight years, the groups say, the cost of renewable energy has “dramatically declined.” For example, solar costs have fallen up to 85% since 2009, and wind power costs in the western part of the country have fallen almost 50% since 2011, the letter points out.

“The state also has abundant untapped geothermal resources, and a combination of wind, solar and geothermal will, due to their different delivery profiles, provide needed grid diversity and balance to efficiently meet Nevada’s energy needs.”

Citing modeling from AWEA and the Western Resource Advocates, the letter also claims the RPS boost in the legislation could “attract over $3 billion in additional investment to the state.”

The Sierra Club adds in a press release that the passage of the bill is especially important following President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement – “ceding U.S. leadership in the clean energy economy.”

“As the White House steps aside from its leadership role in the growing clean energy economy, the Nevada legislature stepped up by passing A.B.206 to commit to harnessing our state’s vast renewable energy potential,” says Elspeth DiMarzio, the Sierra Club’s campaign representative in Nevada, in a statement. “This bipartisan commitment to renewable energy is the smart move for attracting investment and creating jobs, securing reliable and affordable energy, and ensuring future generations have clean air and clean water. Nevadans now look to Gov. Sandoval to sign this bill into law and secure the state’s role as a national clean energy leader.”

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