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Nevadans for Clean Affordable Energy

Anne Macquarie with a solar teapot in Tibet.

Anne Macquarie is the blog editor for nonprofit Nevadans for Clean Affordable Reliable Energy based in Carson City, Nev. NCARE is a resource for clean energy information. Black Rock Solar occasionally will be featuring posts from NCARE’s website nevadanscleanenergy.org.

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Anne Macquarie with a solar teapot in Tibet.

Thomas Jefferson said democracy demands an educated and informed electorate. We at Nevadans for Clean Affordable Reliable Energy (NCARE) think clean-energy policy demands the same thing.

In 2006, there were two proposals to develop massive new coal-fired electrical generating stations in Nevada. NV Energy’s Ely (NV) Energy Center would have provided 1,500 megawatts of coal-fired generation.  Sempra Energy proposed a coal-burning power plant just outside of Gerlach, NV, close to the Black Rock Desert. Clean-energy advocates organized to defeat both proposals.

Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is tasked with carrying out the state’s energy policy. It regulates all investor-owned utilities in Nevada, including NV Energy. But clean energy advocates trying to testify about the proposed coal plants found that the PUC was operating under very strict rules regarding who was allowed to testify.

Essentially, the commission required that those testifying be Nevada residents or representatives of Nevada-based organizations, even if the witnesses could show an interest in the larger issues surrounding a docket – in this case, the air pollution and global-warming effects of the proposed coal-fired power plants. NCARE was born out of this dilemma. It offered a Nevada-based organization that would meet the PUC’s rules for testifying.

Due to the efforts of NCARE member organizations and others (not least of them U.S. Sen. Harry Reid) both coal proposals were scuttled.

Since then, NCARE continues to participate in PUC dockets involving energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resource planning. We also help develop and support legislation for energy-efficiency measures, renewable energy policies, and other greenhouse-gas-reducing projects.

But several of NCARE’s member groups thought it was time to talk about clean energy and climate change in Nevada outside the narrow arena of the PUC. While important, this work did not offer an opportunity for regular Nevada citizens to learn about clean energy and climate change issues affecting their state.

Nevada has immense renewable-energy resources, and the world has an immense challenge in addressing climate change. To have any hope of developing Nevada’s full potential for clean, renewable energy, and of moving toward the clean, sustainable economy needed to slow climate change,  the citizens of Nevada must be informed and engaged.

NCARE maintains a blog aimed at the general public, not at energy experts. The first post was about Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard – how it functions, what it does. We cover anything we can find about clean energy and climate change within or affecting Nevada. Posts include a description of UNLV’s winning entry in this year’s Solar Decathlon, Nevada’s solar energy school districts, an overview of clean-energy legislation passed in this year’s session of the Nevada Legislature, and much more.

Visit nevadanscleanenergy.org to learn what’s happening in clean energy and climate change in Nevada. We’re always interested in articles and guest posts so if you have ideas, email annem@nevadanscleanenergy.org.

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