RCG-UNLV Study: Energy Measure Would Create 38,000 Nevada Jobs

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

ICYMI, our economic analysis of the Energy Choice Initiative (aka Question 3 on your ballot) concludes that if approved by voters, the measure would create thousands of new clean energy and clean technology jobs in Nevada. Our study was conducted in collaboration with UNLV economist Dr. Alan Schlottmann on behalf of Nevadans for Affordable Clean Energy Choices, the group backing the measure.

The measure proposes to create “an open, well-regulated electricity market in Nevada.” Because it is a constitutional amendment, it would have to pass this year and pass again in 2018 before it could take effect.

Notably, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) forecasted a loss of jobs in the clean energy sector in a 2015 report. GOED is currently focused on nine key industries for future economic development in Nevada. Renewable and sustainable energy is one of the key sectors. Our analysis indicates Question 3 could not only help Nevada regain these lost jobs, but add thousands more.

Key Findings

— Our forecast shows that if Question 3 passes, Nevada would likely see an increase of nearly 38,000 clean energy jobs (from 25,600 in 2016 to 63,486 in 2033).

— Even our conservative 5% growth forecast shows a job increase of 63% over a 10-year period.

— Each new “utility scale” renewable energy project would create as many as 10,796 construction phase jobs — 2,133 jobs for a 100 megawatt facility, and 10,796 jobs for a 550 megawatt facility.

Current State of Energy in Nevada

Our research found that as of 2013, only 11% of Nevada’s “home grown” energy is generated by renewable sources.

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About the Ballot Question

Currently, utility companies in Nevada are permitted to establish monopolies in their geographic service areas under the authority of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a body whose members are appointed by the Governor. The PUC regulates utility prices and energy policies across the state. This model of regulated and state-imposed monopolies was initially created to incentivize electrical infrastructure development.

Question 3 essentially seeks to end the de facto electricity monopoly that NV Energy has in the state, covering about 1.3 million customers. The measure will place a guarantee in the Nevada Constitution that energy customers have the right to choose their energy provider and/or generate their own energy for resale. Under the measure, the Nevada Legislature would be required to pass laws by 2023 that would open state energy markets to competition.

Here is the text you will see on your Nov. 8 ballot:

Shall Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require the Legislature to provide by law for the establishment of an open, competitive retail electric energy market that prohibits the granting of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity?

More details on Question 3, including the entities that oppose and support the measure, are available on Ballotpedia.

RCG/UNLV Study In the Media

The Review Journal has a write-up of our study.

If you have any questions about the measure or our study, don’t hesitate to contact our Principal and chief economist, John Restrepo.