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Opinion: Embracing the new energy economy

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For over a century, the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce has been a cornerstone in northern Nevada’s vibrant business community. Representing over 2,200 members that employ more than 110,000 jobs in Washoe County, we are steadfast in our mission to nurture local businesses and foster job creation. Today, we find the need to embrace a diverse energy portfolio and the new energy economy.

Nevada is on a bold path with its Renewable Portfolio Standard, aiming for 50% renewable energy by 2030—just six years from now. Our region is a hub for new energy-related businesses, including being home to companies advancing the lithium supply chain, from extraction to manufacturing and recycling, and industry leaders like locally headquartered Redwood Materials and Dragonfly Energy paving the way.

Last week, the Nevada Clean Energy Fund, established in 2017, was awarded a $156 million Federal Solar for All Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This initiative will finance solar installations on homes, affordable housing, and community projects, while also providing education, technical support, and workforce development to diverse communities throughout the state.

At the Chamber, we’re convinced that dedication to innovation and investment in grid modernization, energy storage diversification, and advanced transportation options are crucial to ushering our local economy into the new energy economy. This commitment will unlock countless opportunities for businesses to thrive and create a pipeline of great jobs for future generations and for homeowners to reduce costs and reserve energy. 

The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce urges businesses and residents to seize financial opportunities, seek advice from energy specialists, and take proactive steps to adapt to the new energy landscape. Below, are some federal opportunities available.

Ann Silver, CEO of Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce
Ann Silver, CEO of Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Small Business Program
  • Biden-Harris Administration’s Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs:
  • Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • ENERGY STAR for Small Business
  • State and Local Financial Incentives

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Submitted opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of This Is Reno. Have something to say? Submit an opinion article or letter to the editor here.

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