Passage of Question 6 will double the amount of renewable energy generated and used in Nevada
Hundreds of thousands of Nevada voters made their voices heard at the ballot box, passing Question 6 and calling for a stronger economy fueled by clean energy. By putting the state on track to use 50 percent renewable energy by the year 2030, Question 6 will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and create thousands of new Nevada jobs.
Question 3, a separate ballot question seeking to change the retail electricity market, was ultimately unsuccessful. The measure was the subject of fierce debate about its impacts on electricity rates and the adoption of clean energy.
Independently, a broad coalition of supporters argued that Question 6 was the only way to guarantee that Nevada would get more of its power from renewable sources like solar. With this victory, it is clearer than ever that consumers are demanding more affordable clean energy.
“The momentum behind Nevada’s clean energy economy remains strong,” said Sarah Cottrell Propst, the Executive Director of Interwest Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association that represents the nation’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry. “The passage of Question 6 will spur investment and advance the state’s leadership in one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.”
“Investment in renewable energy is an investment in the long term health of Nevada’s economy. A robust RPS promises to expand Nevada’s economic development and diversify its energy supply,” said Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager of state policy with Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization working with influential investors and companies . “Major companies are investing in Nevada because of its rich renewable resources and the state is now poised to continue to attract corporate renewable energy investment.”
“Clean energy is putting Nevadan’s to work, with more than 25,000 strong employed in 2017. By increasing the state’s renewable standard, Nevada has set itself up to continue reaping the economic benefits for years to come,” said Ray Fakhoury, State Policy Manager with the Advanced Energy Economy, a national group of businesses that seek to reduce market barriers to advanced energy investments. “Investing in clean energy resources helps diversify the state’s energy mix, protecting consumers from future energy price volatility.”
To become law, Nevada’s voters will have to pass the initiative again in 2020, but Fakhoury believes consumers will see benefits sooner than that. “Passing with wide support, the Legislature and Governor-elect should move forward in the upcoming legislative session to enact this landmark increase.”
Clean Energy Works for Nevada, a coalition of businesses and advocates, launched this week in support of a strong clean energy economy. In “Powering Nevada: How Declining Costs Are Powering Our Clean Energy Economy,” the group notes that Nevada solar is some of the cheapest energy in the nation right now. And as the price of solar, wind and other renewables has fallen, their share of the energy mix has increased, producing jobs and economic development for the state and savings for consumers.
Today, there are more than 25,000 people working in clean energy and efficiency jobs in Nevada, which leads the country in per capita solar energy production. Outside the energy sector, businesses small and large are using clean energy and efficiency to lower their electric bills and deliver on commitments to social responsibility. The members of Clean Energy Works for Nevada say developing the state’s abundant natural resources will take Nevada’s clean energy economy to the next level.
“We are already seeing the power of clean energy at work in Nevada. Businesses like Apple and MGM are leading the way, powering their facilities with money-saving clean energy and meeting customer demand for sustainability at the same time,” said Yvette M. Sanchez, owner of J&Y Construction & Property Preservation. “But smart state policies are the key to unlocking that potential for every Nevada business and family, and ensuring access to affordable, clean, and reliable renewable power.”
“Forward-thinking policies, like Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard, have been the driving force for technological innovation and economic development, helping make solar the cheapest electricity option in many parts of the U.S., but we have to maintain that momentum,” said Sean Gallagher, VP of State Affairs, Solar Energy Industries Association. “It’s critical for the clean energy industry to work together with other Nevada businesses, advocates and policymakers so the economic benefits that clean energy provides both companies and consumers can be fully realized.”Powering Nevada notes that corporate renewable energy purchases announced in the last few months alone have broken record low prices for solar energy – not just in Nevada, but in the country.
The report also finds that the falling price of solar, including the photovoltaic panels typically used in rooftop installations, has driven investment and jobs in the state.
“Prices for solar PV have fallen 77 percent since 2009 alone, leading to booming investments by families, private companies, and utilities alike,” said Louise Helton, President of Las Vegas’s 1 Sun Solar. “That translates directly to economic growth for Nevada and to savings for consumers and corporations who bet on solar power. We need to make sure state policies don’t get in the way of those smart investments, but rather pave the way for an even stronger clean energy economy tomorrow.”