In 2020’s general election, Nevada voters approved Question 6. Question 6 amends the state’s constitution to require Nevada’s electricity providers to shift to a minimum of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. In total, 747,581 people voted yes, which came out to 57.94 percent approval. 542,654 voted no, which came out to 42.06 percent.
The vote was essentially more of an exclamation point on a decision voters already made in 2018 as voters in Nevada must pass an initiative twice consecutively in even-numbered election years to amend the state’s constitution.
The Bill’s Journey
In recent years, there has been a significant push for Nevada to move toward renewable energy. However, like any measure, there has been some opposition. In 2017, Nevada’s state legislature passed a bill to require 40 percent renewable energy by 2030. However, the bill was vetoed by the governor at the time, Brian Sandoval (R). Yet, in 2019, the bill was bumped up to 50 percent. It was passed again, and this time, it was signed by the newly elected governor, Steve Sisolak (D). The success of Question 6 makes sure there’s now not only a bill but a constitutional amendment requiring 50 percent renewable energy.
The most prominent opposition to the bill came from people who were wary of requiring a specific target into the state’s constitution. This opposition didn’t only come from those who thought the target was too high. Others believed the target was too low, such as the Center for Biological Diversity, which was one of the bill’s prominent opposers.
Arguments for the Bill
Those who support the measure claim that a higher RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard) would result in increased renewable energy generation while lowering the amount of natural gas imported to Nevada. Claims also suggest that a higher RPS would lower pollution, resulting in higher air quality. Supporters also stated that a higher RPS would result in constructing new renewable power plants in Nevada.
Supporters also pointed out that the cost of solar power and energy storage is rapidly declining. The supporters claimed that in the long run, it would be much cheaper to construct renewable energy-producing facilities within Nevada as opposed to continuing to import natural gas from out-of-state.
Arguments Against the Bill
Those who oppose the bill point towards the fact that the ballot question’s primary funder is a group close to Tom Steyer, a liberal California billionaire. Opposers also claim that amending the state’s constitution would essentially “handcuff” Nevada to a renewable energy industry some might consider still in its “infancy.”
In 2018, Analysts from the Legislative Counsel Bureau stated that they couldn’t determine the proposed constitutional amendment’s fiscal impact “with any reasonable degree of certainty.” They pointed to the uncertainty over how the initiative will be implemented. The agency also stated it couldn’t correctly predict how electricity prices would be affected by the measure.
What Does Question 6 Mean For You?
A statewide shift to renewable energy will mean that the cost of solar power and energy storage will continue to decline, which would put consumers in a great position to benefit from the measure. As Southern Nevada’s premier solar company, we’re here to help you benefit. Our NABCEP Certified Installation team provides the latest solar technologies at competitive prices. Sol-Up is also Panasonic’s only Elite Installer in Nevada. Contact us for a free quote today!