New Clean Energy Laws for Nevada
There are several new laws involving clean energy to come out of this latest session of the Nevada Legislature, as well as some studies that will help lay the groundwork for legislation in the future.
There are several new laws involving clean energy to come out of this latest session of the Nevada Legislature, as well as some studies that will help lay the groundwork for legislation in the future. Lawmakers passed a bill to increase Nevada's renewable portfolio; at least half the energy used in the the state will have to come from clean energy sources by the year 2030.
"The bill raising the renewable portfolio standard; that got unanimous support," said Assemblyman Howard Watts, District 15. "So I'm really excited to see clean energy is something people support across the aisle; there's not that partisan divide you may see on other issues."
Watts introduced a bill to promote the use of electric vehicles.
"We have electric vehicle producers here in Nevada so there's economic development benefits, the benefit to our environment and the benefits to our health," Watts said. "Because not only is transportation polluting for the environment, but it's also linked to asthma and other health ailments, so I think this a win all around."
NV SCR1 calls for an interim study of renewable and clean energy resources. Sponsors hope to take advantage of more of the state's geothermal resources.
"The geothermal survey is going to be huge because expanding geothermal is going to be a game changer in diversifying our economy," said Senator Pat Spearman, District 1. "Having access to geothermal in the spaces we've already disturbed the land, if you will - old mines - and then putting on renewable energy plants, I think that's going to be a game changer because advanced manufacturing loves geothermal; it reduces the cost of operations so, so much, so keep an eye out for that."
Legislation to track carbon emissions is expected to influence bills introduced for the next session.
"We're going to start tracking carbon emissions; this is a very innovative bill simply to measure," said Tom Polikalas of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. "When we start measuring what Nevada is putting out, then we can start finding cost effective ways to reduce carbon emissions, and that's the key. We're going to be able to create jobs - that find ways that pay for themselves - that will not only reduce carbon emissions, but lower costs to consumers. That's something we'll move forward with in 2021. What we've done in the 2019 session is set a framework to put Nevada at the forefront across the board in clean energy technology."
"This has been an extension of 2017 where we have focused a lot on not just the environment but how some of the things we do affect the environment, both positively and negatively," Spearman said. "So I think what people will see when they see this suite of bills is a lot of progress in that area. We've tried to look at what is going to be best for Nevadans and for Nevada in the long run."