RE Study Stirs Up Nevada Legislature

While Nevada has firmly established a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 15 percent by 2013, how long it will take to get there and with how much wrangling is anyone’s guess. A recent study was commissioned in hopes to smooth the path to achieving the state’s Renewable Energy target.

Carson City, Nevada – April 9, 2003 [] According to a study commissioned by the Nevada Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Task Force, the state could realize nearly US$21.5 billion in gross state product (GSP) and grow thousands of jobs through the year 2035 by simply meeting the state’s RPS which calls for a 15 percent procurement of Renewable Energy by 2013. The study, conducted by Mary Riddel, Ph.D., and Keith Schwer, Ph.D., of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, examined the potential for energy generation using Renewable Energy sources within Nevada. It was released to the Nevada Legislature where it has already made a splash judging from a number of Renewable Energy bills that were floated in the legislature according to the Las Vegas Sun. AB314 introduced by Assemblyman Jason Geddes, R-Reno, was among the several Renewable Energy proposals debated by the Assembly Commerce and Labor. The bill would require utilities to offer Renewable Energy systems that customers finance over time for their homes or small businesses. Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville introduced AB429, which would provide grants, rebates and other incentives to help Nevadans take advantage of net-metering. Also reviewed by the Assembly panel was AB431, a bill by Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, which sets standards for installers of both solar thermal and solar PV systems. Among the study’s major findings: -Nevada paid US$2.5 billion to out-of-state energy producers in 2002 -The development of Nevada’s solar, wind, biomass and geothermal resources may prove to be a valuable economic development tool – Nevada has the potential to be a leader in renewable electric generation, with southern Nevada one of the best sources for solar electric power generation in the world – Full utilization of Nevada’s wind resources could generate 50,589,000 MWh of electricity – The abundance of high-temperature sites in Nevada suggests geothermal could be a lucrative electrical generation resource for the state — over 60 percent of the state has sites with high enough temperatures for electricity generation – At the state’s required 15 percent level (15 percent of the state’s energy must come from renewable resources by 2013), the state will average US$665 million in GSP annually – At the state’s required 15 percent level, nearly 5,500 jobs annually will be attributable to the economic impacts of Renewable Energy Currently, 3.9 percent of Nevada’s annual consumption of nearly 36,000 GWh is produced from Renewable Energy resources, responsible for approximately 850 jobs in Nevada directly, indirectly or through induced consumption effects. “This study clearly supports Nevada’s aggressive efforts to move to a renewable, sustainable energy economy,” said Rose McKinney-James, chair of the Nevada Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Task Force. “It’s a clear demonstration of the dramatic role that continued development of a strong Renewable Energy industry and progressive policy will have on the economic well being of our state as a whole as well as on our counties, our cities and our citizens.” The report will be available via e-mail from Misty Young at Jesse Broehl can be reached at
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