Nevada leads nation in clean energy investment, report finds

“Nevada is leading the way in clean energy, bringing in thousands of good-paying jobs and supporting working families throughout my state,” Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement in response to the report. (Photo via Shutterstock)

By Isabel Soisson

December 12, 2023

Nevada is the top state for clean energy investment over the last year, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Rhodium Group.

The report’s ranking for total clean energy investment was based on a combination of each of the 50 states’ clean technology manufacturing, clean energy generation, and clean energy retail purchases.

“Nevada is leading the way in clean energy, bringing in thousands of good-paying jobs and supporting working families throughout my state,” Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement in response to the report. “From boosting our critical mineral supply chain to investing in innovative technologies, I’ll continue working to keep Nevada at the forefront of our clean energy future.”

In a press release highlighting the clean energy investments in the state, Cortez Masto touted her role in creating a battery recycling program in Nevada that’s so far brought more than $100 million in federal funding to the state.

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) was also recently designated as a tech hub by the Biden administration, a designation meant to spur innovation and create jobs in the state’s growing lithium and battery materials sector.

The Nevada Lithium Batteries and Other EV Material Loop’s goal is to “build a regional cluster for lithium and battery materials,” and will focus on mining and material production, battery manufacturing, and recycling.

According to the US Economic Development Administration, this tech hub “seeks to make Nevada a strong node in a critical supply chain,” and make the country’s battery economy more resilient and competitive.

Northern Nevada is already the site of several lithium and battery materials companies, including Panasonic Energy, Ioneer and Dragonfly Energy, and Redwood Materials. Earlier this year, Redwood Materials received a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Dept. of Energy for its battery recycling and manufacturing facility east of Reno-Sparks.

The White House also recently announced $1.3 billion in new federal funding—through Biden’s 2021 infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act—to create three new, massive electrical transmission lines, including one between Nevada and Utah. Once constructed, the line is expected to deliver 1,500 megawatts of additional electrical capacity to the Southwest, according to the Dept. of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office.

Most of that power will come from solar generation in the state of Nevada. The renewable power delivered through this line is projected to have the capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19.5 million tons of carbon dioxide between the years 2028 and 2050. It’s also expected to create 4,100 jobs and stimulate roughly $761 million in total economic activity.

These projects and investments represent just the latest benefits of Biden’s legislative policies.

The Inflation Reduction Act represented the largest-ever American investment in fighting climate change. The law established a mix of tax credits for companies and rebates for consumers in order to make the manufacturing and consumption of clean energy technologies and products cheaper.

In other words: by making clean energy—like solar, wind, and hydropower—cheaper to produce and use, the IRA seeks to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels that are one of the biggest sources of emissions.

The law’s various measures are expected to lead to a clean energy jobs boom over the next decade. In Nevada, 40,000 jobs are projected to be created in that time frame–nearly 16,000 of which have already been created, according to data from Climate Power, a nonprofit climate advocacy group.

More than $12 billion in investments have also already been funneled into the state of Nevada alone since the legislation was passed just 16 months ago, with much of those funds going towards investments in communities of color.

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

CATEGORIES: CLIMATE | POLITICS

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