If at first you don’t succeed, go directly to the people.
One year after Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed a bill that would have increased Nevada’s renewable energy mandate to 40% by 2030, clean energy advocates have succeeded in getting enough signatures to bring an even more ambitious mandate directly to the state’s voters.
According to multiple local news outlets, Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future did not only get the required 113,000 signatures, but more than 200,000 for an initiative that would raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policy and require utilities to source 50% of their electricity from solar, geothermal and wind by 2030.
This is a significant increase on the state’s current mandate of 25% by 2025, and would put Nevada in a four-way tie with California, New York and New Jersey for the third-most aggressive RPS, as all of these states have already mandated 50% renewable energy by 2030.
Nevada is not exactly doing poorly at present. Even when large hydroelectric dams are excluded, renewable energy represented nearly 21% of in-state generation in 2017. Solar comprised more half of this at 11.2% of total generation, and Nevada joined California and Hawaii as one of only three states where solar made up more than 10% of generation.
Polling data points hopefully to the referendum passing. According to an April poll by the Nevada Independent, voters favor the 50% by 2030 RPS 68% to 20%.