The Clean Energy Project organized an excellent and informative update of the key energy bills that are currently part of the 2017 legislative session. The event was hosted by Jennifer Taylor from the Clean Energy Project, with Assemblyman Chris Brooks and Senator Patricia Spearman providing an in-depth insight into the progress of the energy bills and their importance to Nevada.
This is a very busy legislative session for bills relating to clean energy and energy efficiency. With the overwhelming result of Question 3 backing energy choice, the Governors Energy Task force Green Bank study and a strong push from businesses and non profits towards a cleaner economy, energy bills have taken center stage.
Chris Brooks stated how the current set of bills are all pieces of the puzzle when it comes to Nevada becoming a global leader in energy. However when pressed on which bill carried the most value he opted for AB206 which looks to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040. This will give true direction and leadership for Nevada, giving prospective businesses the confidence to invest in the State, creating more jobs, improving the environment and strengthening the economy. What is more it will push industry to innovate and develop more and better energy practices. Referring to AB206 Assemblyman Brooks is confident “we will get there cheaper and faster than people expect” and warns that despite protestations from certain groups “we don’t have time to wait”.
Brooks pointed to the clear mandate the legislators have been given by the public when it comes to energy, “you need to lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way! It’s what voters want. Nevada’s time is now”. He also pointed to the fact the the required technology is already available and prices have dropped significantly over recent years.
Senator Spearman highlighted the importance of SB407, looking at the establishment of a Nevada Green Bank, now to be named the Nevada Green Energy Fund. The aforementioned Green Bank Study was a detailed 82 page report which concluded its implementation could have huge benefits for Nevada’s economy, increasing uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency. It would also ensure that these projects are affordable for more people by providing unsecured loans distributed by a non profit Green Energy Fund. Citing the research Senator Spearman emphasised how Nevada will benefit from $700 billion over the next 5 years” after its foundation.
Another key issue raised by Senator Spearman was the importance of energy security. Currently the US is reliant on finite resources such as oil and gas making it susceptible to geopolitics and geography of resources. By employing more renewable energy such as solar and geothermal Nevada can greatly improve energy security for the State, leading the Country and the World.
Currently all of the energy bills mentioned below are still in play, having being passed in their first house or being provided with deadline exemptions. These bills are part of a larger puzzle which is complete will propel Nevada forward ensuring our future success.
The Bills in Question
AB206 – revises the Renewable Portfolio Standard. Boosts Nevada’s current RPS to 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040
AB405 – establishes protections for and ensures the rights of people who use renewable energy in Nevada
AB270 – revises provisions governing the eligibility of certain customers of electric utilities in Nevada to participate in net metering and revises provisions governing the billing of customers of electric utilities in this State who participate in net metering.
AB452 – directs the Legislative Committee on energy to conduct an interim study concerning energy choice.
AB223 – requires an electric utility to submit to the PUCN an energy efficiency plan designed to be cost effective, providing for a certain percent of the expenditures of the utility to be specifically directed toward energy efficiency programs for low-income customers.
AB5 – provides for the creation of certain local improvement districts that include an energy efficiency improvement project or renewable energy project.
AJR10 – expresses opposition to the development of a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
SB65 – revises provisions related to the filing by certain electric utilities of an integrated resource plan.
SB145 – establishes a program for the payment of incentives for the installation of certain energy storage systems, creates the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program, repeals provisions requiring each electric utility to create a Lower Income Solar Energy Pilot Program.
SB146 – revises provisions governing the filing of an integrated resource plan with the PUCN
SB150 – requires the PUCN to establish for each electric utility in this State annual goals for energy savings resulting from the implementation of energy efficiency programs and requires each electric utility to implement an energy efficiency plan designed to be cost effective and to meet the annual goals for energy savings established by the Commission.
SB204 – requires the PUCN to investigate and establish biennial targets for certain electric utilities to procure energy storage systems under certain circumstances.
SB392 – requires the PUCN to adopt regulations establishing standards for the operation of community solar gardens, requires a subscriber to a community solar garden to receive a credit on the subscriber’s utility bill for the subscriber’s share of the electricity generated by the community solar garden and requires a utility to purchase the unsubscribed electricity of a community solar garden.
SB407 – creates the Nevada Clean Energy Fund, creates the board of Directors of the Fund to administer the Fund, sets forth the duties and powers of the board.
Howto engage Today
1. Visit https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/79th2017/A/
2. Select the bill number e.g. AB5
3. Select “FOR” and add comments if desired
4. Enter your constituent information at the bottom of the page
A huge thank you to the Clean Energy Project for such a great event, and to Senator Spearman and Assemblyman Brooks for giving such a great overview and progress update.