By Brian Bahouth

Reno – Nevada Assembly Bill 206 would make it state policy to “become a leading producer and consumer of clean and renewable energy, with a goal of achieving by 2040 an amount of renewable energy production of at least 80 percent of the electricity sold by providers of electric service” in Nevada, and another piece of legislation active this legislative session would be key to achieving that challenging green goal.

Senate Bill 407 would establish the Nevada Clean Energy Fund, an independent nonprofit corporation intended to provide money for investment in clean energy projects, large and small.

The Nevada Clean Energy Fund would be a form of what is known as a green investment bank (GIB).  In a January 2017 the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate published a policy paper that focuses on 13 GIBs currently operating in seven nations to include the United States.  According to the paper the intended outcomes of GBIs vary with their purpose, but one thing they all accomplish is to significantly increase the use of renewable forms of power through enhanced private and institutional investment in low-carbon energy projects.

Discriminatory lending practices have and continue to be an important social justice issue, and perhaps most important among the potential outcomes of a Nevada Clean Energy Fund would be that GIBs help low income citizens overcome the oftentimes prohibitive initial investment burden of green home investment and subsequent return.

David Gibson is an engineer and building efficiency expert who operates Powered by Sunshine.  Gibson converted a highly inefficient Reno house into a net zero energy dwelling and knows intimately the financial challenges of affecting green energy change and how a Nevada Clean Energy Fund could have helped … for more, listen to an interview with David Gibson … 19:12 …

As written, Nevada’s Clean Energy Fund would help provide financial assistance for the purchase and installation of a wide array of technology.  A homeowner could borrow money to conduct an efficiency analysis and enact the repairs needed to radically improve home energy efficiency.

The fund would help with the facility costs associated with an electric vehicle: solar array, charging station.

Under the terms of SB 407, the definition of “renewable energy” projects is broad and inclusive, so homeowners and businesses would be aided in the deployment of the latest green technology.  Should there be a Nevada Green Bank, it would help fund:

Solar resources; Wind resources; Geothermal resources; Nonhazardous, organic biomass;  Anaerobic digestion of organic waste streams; Small-scale, advanced hydropower; Tidal currents; and Fuel cells using renewable resources.

Senate Bill 407 passed the Nevada Senate on April 25 on a 18 to 3 vote.  State Senator Pat Spearman (D-N. Las Vegas) is primary sponsor of the measure and introduced the bill to members of the Assembly Government Affairs committee on May 11.  The committee took no action.

Music credit:
Artist: Clifton Chenier
Song: Boppin’ The Rock