Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 | 1:16 p.m.
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As energy officials prepare to convene in Las Vegas next week for the third National Clean Energy Summit, a new report says Nevada is in a good position to benefit from clean energy development.
The report says Nevada is the No. 5 state with “high market potential for future energy efficiency development.”
Issued today by the Center for American Progress and Energy Resource Management Corp., the report ranks states it says have the most energy efficient markets. Nevada placed 15th on the list, but took a top spot for its future potential.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was part of a conference call with reporters today that included the release of the report and details of next week’s annual summit, which will be Tuesday at UNLV.
“Nevada has an opportunity to lead in renewable energy and energy-efficiency investments,” Reid said. “Not only in actual numbers, but as an example.”
The report acknowledges Nevada’s policies that promote renewable energy and encourage businesses to be energy efficient.
Clear policies from lawmakers at the state and federal levels are required before companies will invest in and use renewable energy, said Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and one of the report’s authors.
“Nevada is actually quite a pioneer in this,” said Bill Campbell, chair of Energy Resources Management and another report author. “In some of the key policy invocations that we think will help drive this market forward, Nevada has been a real pioneer.”
Nevada has the second best renewable energy credit policy in the nation, behind only Utah, the report says. Such a policy allows utilities to trade energy credits across a state.
The report also notes that Nevada already has created jobs by promoting renewable energy.
Private companies in the state invested $19.8 million in clean energy from 2006 to 2008 through venture capital funds, it says.
Nevada would also benefit from national energy legislation, the report’s authors said.
If national clean energy legislation is passed, Nevada could see a $1.2 billion investment that includes public and private sources, including the federal stimulus act, the report says. Those investments could lead to 10,533 new jobs in the state, the report says.
On the conference call today, Reid cited a lack of Republican support in failed efforts to pass energy reform legislation in the Senate. He said he is working on a new bill that he hopes would gather more support.