As Nevada lawmakers are in the midst of considering the Solar Jobs Now proposal, which advocates increasing the amount of solar energy produced in Nevada to reach 400MW by 2020, a report compiled by Vote Solar and Clean Energy Project NV has focused attention on the economic benefits that solar projects on homes and business would bring to the state.
Nevada has been known as a successful U.S. state for large-scale solar power projects, but as Vote Solar points out, smaller rooftop and distributed systems in the state have lacked the ability to attain the same level of accomplishment mostly due to the state’s SolarGenerations rebate program being “underfunded and oversubscribed”.
“For years Nevada’s SolarGenerations program has enabled numerous homeowners to put solar energy on their homes creating a new industry for Nevada. However, the successful program has been limited due to its narrow scope. Giving stability to the program through the Solar Jobs Now proposal will unleash more private investment through smart policies that deliver lasting economic opportunity and value to Nevadans,” stated Lydia Ball, executive director of Clean Energy Project.
In the report by Vote Solar and Clean Energy Project, an increase to 400MW of distributed solar in Nevada would include such benefits as the creation of 1,159 clean energy jobs over the lifetime of the program, generate US$1.34 billion in total economic output and produce US$68.1 million in sales taxes paid to help Nevada meet its budget needs.
“Solar energy creates more jobs per megawatt than any other energy resource. But in order for Nevada to tap solar’s tremendous economic potential, it needs policies that provide sustained opportunities for residents and businesses to go solar alongside traditional power generators,” said Claudia Eyzaguirre, Vote Solar’s policy lead for Nevada. “The Solar Jobs Now proposal provides that opportunity. We’re excited to see strong support for the policy from both local and national solar companies eager to invest in building Nevada’s solar future.”
Using the Job and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Vote Solar and Clean Energy Project NV also concluded that a stronger solar market in the state could lead to a new in-state manufacturing base, which would add its related profits to Nevada’s economy.