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Rallies for Renewable Energy in Las Vegas, Carson City Today

Supporters of renewable energy will rally in two Nevada cities today. (adamkaz/iStockphoto)
Supporters of renewable energy will rally in two Nevada cities today. (adamkaz/iStockphoto)
February 20, 2017

LAS VEGAS -- Conservation advocates are celebrating Presidents Day by rallying together at noon in Las Vegas and in Carson City to support policies that promote renewable energy.

They're calling on the Nevada Legislature to pass Assembly Bill 206. The bill would raise the renewable portfolio standard to require utilities to generate 50 percent of their power from renewable sources by the year 2030, and 80 percent by 2040.

Launce Rake, communications consultant for Renewable NV - a coalition of clean energy groups - said the state's economy is already moving in that direction.

"According to the federal Department of Energy, we have about 10,000 jobs in solar and about 10,000 in energy efficiency," Rake said. "We have fewer than 1,500 in the fossil-fuel generation of electricity."

He said Nevada will easily surpass the current renewable portfolio standard set 20 years ago with a goal of 25 percent of power from renewable sources by 2025.

Brian Beffort, director of the Toiyabe chapter of the Sierra Club, said that big companies coming to Nevada are buying energy produced by the growing number of utility-scale solar projects. And, he said, jobs and the environment are bipartisan concerns.

"This isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is an American issue; it's a global issue,” Beffort said. "It's about building a stronger economy for our state, and a healthier future."

He said the groups also support legislation to extend energy efficiency measures to low income households, and to cut red tape that has made it difficult for community groups to install solar arrays.

The Las Vegas rally will be held at the Grant Sawyer building on Washington Street. The Carson City event will be in front of the state Capitol Building.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV