Senator Harry Reid issued an 18-page report today that reviews Nevada’s renewable energy milestones, projects that are in process, and actions that need to be taken to assure that Nevada realizes its potential to be a leader in renewable energy.
There are several important themes contained in Senator Reid’s report, which is entitled “Playing to Win in Clean Energy.” Perhaps the most important theme is the need to take a long-run view to take consistent steps to build a strong foundation “to broaden Nevada’s economy so that we are better positioned to grow and succeed in the coming decades.” “[M]any people have advocated for policies that would derail investment in Nevada’s clean energy resources because they want to shift the nation’s attention away from clean energy and maintain the status quo.”
One issue that receives significant attention in the report is the proposal to renew the Section 1603 tax credit program that let developers monetize tax credits into a cash grant to invest in renewable energy projects. This program helped to finance a number of projects in Nevada, until it expired at the end of last year. Extension of the program is coming up for a vote shortly , but it is going to be challenging to garner support. With so much attention on the federal deficit, and suspicion of the renewable energy industry spurred by issues like the failure of Solyndra, Congress does not appear to have much appetite to support the renewable energy industry with incentives and tax credits.
Senator Reid observes that “if we are going to continue to get investments in the future, we have to work together to develop the state’s clean energy resources. We’re fortunate to live in a state with an abundance of renewable energy resources. But the projects don’t happen by accident and they do not happen overnight. It takes important state action for Nevada to realize its renewable energy potential.”
We couldn’t agree more and the Nevada Sustainable Energy Coalition is working hard to encourage that important state action.