NDEP Policy Catalog

The policies contemplated in the State Climate Strategy were drawn from the NDEP’s 2019 GHG inventory, which includes a catalog of policy options that could further reduce statewide GHG emissions, as required by SB 254. The text of this component of Nevada’s 2019 GHG Inventory is included here for reference along with links to relevant sections of the State Climate Strategy.

NDEP GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY 2019: POLICIES THAT COULD ACHIEVE REDUCTIONS IN PROJECTED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY SECTOR

As required by SB 254, this section identifies policies that could achieve reductions in projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, organized by the GHG emissions sectors in this report. As noted in the introduction to this report, NDEP has included GHG emissions from the “waste” sector as an additional contributor to GHG emissions in Nevada necessary for monitoring and identifying policy proposals. NDEP coordinated with the Governor’s Office of Energy, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN), the Nevada Department of Transportation, and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles in the identification of these policies. NDEP also reviewed policies included in climate change planning documents recently generated by the U.S. Climate Alliance, New Mexico, and Colorado, and other relevant sources.

This list is an initial identification of policies that could reduce Nevada’s GHG emissions. It is not a list of recommendations. Individual policies listed herein need further evaluation to determine whether additional planning, legal review, economic impact and cost-benefit analyses, regulation, and/or legislation may be required prior to implementation. As required by Executive Order 2019-22, state agencies will be developing a specific set of policy and budget recommendations in a State Climate Strategy to be prepared by December 1, 2020. Policies are not listed in order of priority or feasibility.

Economy-Wide Policies

In addition to the sector-specific policies listed below, comprehensive economy-wide programs—including market-based mechanisms—need further evaluation to determine what may be appropriate for Nevada’s GHG emissions profile.

Establish a Lead-by-Example Program for State Agencies

State agencies can demonstrate leadership in reducing GHG emissions within their activities and operations. The program would identify multiple pathways to meet GHG reduction goals and provide necessary assistance to all state agencies in achieving the goals of the Lead-by-Example (LBE) Program. The program would promote sustainability activities within state government such as green building practices, waste reduction, alternative fuels, recycling programs, and sustainable travel.

TRANSPORTATION

Vehicle Emissions Standards

Adopt California emissions standards, established though a waiver application as allowable under Section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), for certain new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines and certain model years (at least two years before commencement of such model year). These include:

Reduction of Vehicle Miles Traveled

Equitable Transportation Funding Solution

  • Adopt a solution to fund Nevada’s transportation system in a manner that equitably addresses carbon reduction, transportation system asset management and operations, and provides safe and reliable alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel.

Exemption from Emissions Inspection for Certain Motor Vehicles

  • Adopt one or more of the changes to the special license plate program that were recommended by the Advisory Committee on the Control of Emissions from Motor Vehicles in 2016 in order to require motor vehicles that would not normally be considered classic vehicles, but nevertheless meet the statutory requirements necessary to obtain special license plates (Classic Vehicles, Classic Rods, or Old Timer), to be treated in a manner similar to other motor vehicles in Nevada. The recommendations included in the 2016 study were made in consideration of preserving the interests of owners of legitimate classic vehicles.

Incentivize the Statewide Transition to Low- and Zero-Emissions Vehicles

Procurement

  • Adopt a coordinated, interagency economy-of-scale procurement program for state, county, municipal fleets, and school districts that supports LEV and ZEV acquisitions and realizes a reduction in individual unit costs.

Low-Carbon Fuels

  • Adopt a low-carbon fuel standard for transportation fuels.

ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Renewable Portfolio Standard

  • Adopt a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of 100% by or before 2050.
  • Provide incentives to customers that are willing to invest in additional renewable energy and/or energy storage resources to ensure that they receive electric service from 100% renewable energy resources.

Phase Out Fossil Fuel-Fired Electricity Generating Sources

  • Adopt a freeze on the approval or construction of any new fossil fuel-fired electricity generating sources.

Integrated Resource Plan Proceedings

Demand-Side Management Programs

  • Prioritize demand-side management programs that have the effect of reducing electricity use during periods of time when renewable generating facilities cannot be relied upon (for example, when the sun is not shining).

Demand-Response Programs

  • Prioritize demand-response programs that shift load to periods of time when renewable resources can be relied upon to serve the load.

Electric Utility Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning

  • Provide incentives to promote electric vehicle infrastructure/rate structure for more ZEV deployment.

Regional Markets

  • Evaluate regional markets (that is, potential extended day-ahead markets or the California Independent System Operator’s Western Energy Imbalance Market) as new tools to integrate more renewables into the grid and to realize more renewable efficiency gains.

Grid Modernization

  • Provide for the analysis of and/or initiatives to support a modernized grid that will:
  • Promote resilience and protection from future disruptive events, including natural disasters;
  • Continue to rate Nevada high on the grid modernization index;
  • Be optimized for a changing supply and demand profile with technologies that:
    • Provide the flexibility and optimization, without undue strain on the grid, to integrate increasing:
      1. Distributed energy resources,
      2. Renewable energy resources, and
      3. Electric vehicles;
  • Be capable of serving as a platform to allow flexibility and the integration of non-wire solutions such as demand- and supply-side software and hardware resources; and
  • Ensure the grid is optimized for additional opportunities to reduce GHG emissions.

INDUSTRY

Fuel Switching

  • Provide incentives for stationary combustion sources that fuel switch to less-carbon-intense fuels. 

Energy Efficiency

  • Provide incentives for the implementation of energy-efficient technologies and practices; including more-efficient ways to light and heat industrial facilities or to run equipment.

Reduce, Capture, and Recycle Ozone-Depleting Substance Substitutes

  • Evaluate replacement, capture, and recycling (or other measures) that reduce the usage of ozone-depleting substance (ODS) substitutes. 

Oil and Natural Gas Production

  • Adopt more-stringent controls on emissions from oil and natural gas exploration, production, transmission, and distribution systems beyond the current federal emissions limitation requirements.

Industrial Processes

  • Adopt more-stringent controls to capture and prevent the release of industrial process emissions.

Sustainability

  • Promote the production of industrial products from materials that are recycled or renewable, rather than producing new products from raw materials.

RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL

Energy Efficiency

Reduce or Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use

Distributed Energy Storage

  • Provide incentives for the purchase of distributed energy storage at homes and businesses.
  • Battery packs at residential and commercial buildings could store renewable electricity and use it when fossil-fuel-fired electricity is the only option, effectively reducing emissions.

Infrastructure Improvements in Homes and Businesses to Facilitate Transition to Zero-Emissions Vehicles

  • Provide incentives for installation of charging infrastructure in existing facilities.
  • Provide incentives for inclusion of EV charging infrastructure in new residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
  • Establish a planning process to develop robust ZEV infrastructure for all vehicle types across a broad set of stakeholders, including:
    • A ZEV infrastructure planning process developed and implemented by an electric utility or rural electric cooperative;
    • Opportunities to incentivize and increase the development of workplace charging infrastructure for electric vehicles at existing commercial and industrial facilities;
    • Opportunities to incentivize and increase the development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles for all types of existing residences, including those in underserved and rural areas;
    • Opportunities to incentivize and increase electric vehicle readiness for the new built environment by facilitating the addition of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in new residential, commercial, and industrial settings;
    • Opportunities to support the increased development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at state, county, and local government buildings; and
    • Incentivize and encourage the purchase of ZEV’s that will utilize this infrastructure.
  • Promote awareness and utilization of existing ZEV incentive and rebate programs.

Funding Opportunities

  • Establish a revolving loan fund to be utilized by state and local government wherein the realized savings are collected back into the account and used to further energy-efficiency measures across the existing building stock.
  • Provide enhanced incentives through the Nevada Clean Energy Fund for the implementation of renewable energy, energy storage systems, and energy-efficiency measures in residential and commercial structures.
  • Establish a loan program with local credit unions to offer low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements for residential properties.
  • Collaborate with utility companies, local municipalities, and rural cooperatives to utilize on-bill financing for energy-efficiency improvements in both residential and commercial properties.

Contracting

  • Utilize energy saving performance contracting to identify opportunities for energy conservation measures and implement the measures that will have the largest effect on reducing GHGs. Performance contracting is well-suited for large commercial buildings as well as state-, county-, and city-owned or -leased buildings.

Workforce Development

  • Establish a clean energy workforce development program to increase training and education around climate action policies and new energy efficiency technologies to ensure a next-generation Nevada workforce with the knowledge needed to reach the statewide GHG emissions-reduction goals.

WASTE

Expand Efforts to Convert Fugitive Methane (CH4) Emissions to CO2

  • Provide incentives for flaring and landfill-gas-to-energy (LGFTE) practices in solid waste landfills and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) data can be utilized to identify landfills where the potential for flaring or LFGTE exists.

Prioritize Biogas Recovered from Landfills and Wastewater Treatment Facilities for Transportation

  • Promote the use of biogas recovered from landfills and wastewater treatment facilities for transportation needs, rather than for electricity generation, where renewable alternatives for electricity generation are already present or can be adopted.

Sustainability Practices to Reduce Methane Emissions

  • Promote or adopt practices that reduce waste production.
  • Promote or adopt practices that increase diversion of organic waste.
  • Provide incentives for construction of anaerobic digesters for the diversion of food waste and flaring and LGFTE practices of captured methane emissions.

AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Land Management Activities

  • Promote and provide incentives for the adoption of silvopasture practices.
  • Promote manure and nitrogen fertilizer management practices that reduce GHG emissions. 
  • Promote practices to reduce emissions from enteric fermentation. 

Carbon Sequestration

  • Provide incentives to sequester carbon through land restoration and retirement, thereby removing highly erodible or environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production.
  • Promote “no-till” and “low-till” farmland management practices to protect soil from erosion. 
  • Promote hedgerow, windbreaks, and shelterbelts best practices to protect soil from erosion.
  • Explore opportunities and incentives to increase carbon sequestration on agricultural and range lands.

LAND USE, LAND USE CHANGE, AND FORESTRY

Carbon Sequestration

Urban Forestry

  • Promote urban reforestation and management.
  • Adopt requirements for increased tree coverage when constructing residences and commercial buildings to increase canopy coverage and reduce heat-island effects in urban areas. Strictly enforced requirements will help reduce the urban-heat island effect as a driver of record-setting temperature increases in Las Vegas and Reno.

Decrease Risk of Catastrophic Wildfire Events

  • Promote land management practices that decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfire events. Such efforts must include comprehensive planning to create more resilient landscapes to prevent wildland fires, and during restoration efforts after fire events.