New Changes to Renewable Energy Laws

May 1st, 2021

Renewable energy is considered the key to the future by many scientists, national business leaders, and political officials. It is a fast-growing industry that is rapidly gaining interest and support across the country due to growing environmental concerns. This is especially true for the state of Nevada, where there is an abundance of renewable energy sources such as solar energy and geothermal energy. In the year of 2020, one-third of the electricity generated in Nevada came from renewable energy sources. Therefore, it is vital that Nevadans be aware of the new and current laws/systems that govern renewable energy for the state. The most important of these recent changes being Question #6, the Renewable Energy Standards Initiative (2020).

What is Question #6?

The biggest and most recent change to Nevada’s renewable energy policy is the passage of Question #6, the Renewable Energy Standards Initiative (2020). This amendment requires state utilities to have at least 50% of the energy that they supply to Nevada communities be sourced from renewable resources by the year 2030. It also clarifies what is considered a renewable energy source by Nevada law. For example, solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric have all been labeled as renewable under the initiative.

How did it happen?

This change of energy policy was proposed in an effort to force Nevada to shift towards more sustainable energy, as constitutional amendments are more difficult to repeal and/or alter when compared to normal state law. The campaign for the ballot initiative began in 2018 and was filed by the political action committee Nevadans for Affordable, Clean Energy Choices. More than 230,000 signatures were part of this filing as of June 18, 2018. In July, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske certified the filing and the measure was placed on the 2018 ballot. For a constitutional amendment to be ratified in the Nevada constitution, the amendment must be approved in two consecutive elections. The first approval occurred in 2018, with the initiative being fully passed on November 3rd, 2020.

What Are the Potential Impacts?

Since the amendment was very recently created, there is still much debate about the pros and cons of the government action. Those who are pro the amendment claim that it will reduce state government spending by cutting the state’s dependence on imported energy generated from fossil-fuels. Furthermore, they claim it will increase investments and create new jobs for the state economy. On the other side, those who are against the amendment claim that it will place extra burdens on Nevada taxpayers as the state may not be able to self-produce enough renewable energy by the deadline and therefore rely on importing expensive energy produced by other states through renewable sources.

Any sweeping government action, such as this initiative, will raise many questions and concerns for a variety of people and organizations. This will be especially true for entities that are part of the energy production and distribution systems in Nevada. If you have these questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact a representative of Allison MacKenzie. We will do our utmost to address your concerns.

Works Cited:

Alonzo, Amy. “Question 6: Increasing Nevada’s Reliance on Renewable Energy to 50 Percent by 2030.” Reno Gazette Journal, Reno Gazette Journal, 11 Oct. 2020, www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/10/11/nevada-question-6-would-increase-reliance-renewable-energy/5887968002/.
“Nevada – State Energy Profile Analysis.” U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 18 Feb. 2021, www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=NV.
“Nevada Question 6, Renewable Energy Standards Initiative (2020).” Ballotpedia, ballotpedia.org/Nevada_Question_6,_Renewable_Energy_Standards_Initiative_(2020).
“Renewable Energy Explained.” U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis, U.S. Energy Information Administration, www.eia.gov/energyexplained/renewable-sources/.