July 27, 2023

Report ranks Nevada in top 10 for clean energy jobs

Nevada Current

 (Photo: Sirisak Boakaew/Getty Images)

Nevada’s efforts to become a national leader in clean energy are paying off, catapulting the state to the top of the list for clean energy investments and jobs.

According to a new report published Wednesday by Climate Power, Nevada in the last year has created more than 11,500 “good-paying clean energy jobs”— which the group defines as trade or union-based jobs—making Nevada the seventh highest state in the country for clean energy job creation.

Analysts for Climate Power predict Nevada is set to create 40,000 clean energy jobs in the next 10 years.

Nevada also placed 10th in the nation for investments in new clean energy projects, generating more than $9 billion in investments.

Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, represented by Republican Rep. Mark Amodei, has the second highest number of new clean energy jobs at 10,450 and the fourth largest investment at $9.02 billion since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, according to the report.

Many of those jobs and investments, however, are attached to controversial lithium mining projects that have attracted messy legal battles.

Climate Power reports the Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project in Esmeralda County has generated 900 jobs. The project faces regulatory hurdles due to a rare desert wildflower native to the state being listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project would overlap the only known habitat of the rare wildflower, Tiehm’s buckwheat, degrading nearly 40% of its federally designated critical habitat and risking its extinction in the wild.

Climate Power’s report also includes 1,500 jobs and $650 million in investment for the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine near the Nevada-Oregon border, by Canada-based Lithium Americas. Last week, the mine won a significant legal challenge, overcoming a major hurdle to its construction and operation. The mine faces fierce opposition from conservationists and Native American tribes, who consider the area sacred.

Nevada’s place as a future battery manufacturing and minerals production powerhouse also helped the state achieve a place in the top 10 states for clean energy investments and jobs.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $2 billion loan commitment to Redwood Materials to build and expand a $3.5 billion battery materials campus in McCarran. The company estimates the expansion will create 3,400 construction jobs and 1,600 permanent jobs. The company also expanded its Storey County campus, creating 700 new jobs and $1.1 billion in investments.

California-based Lilac Solutions, a lithium extraction technology company, was awarded a $50 million grant award from the DOE last year to advance domestic lithium production, a project that will create 250 new jobs and invest a total of $179 million in the state.

Since the Inflation Reduction Act became law in August 2022, companies have announced or advanced 272 new clean energy projects across the U.S and are estimated to create 170,606 new jobs in 44 states, resulting in $278 billion in new investments.

According to the report, most of those new clean energy projects are in congressional districts represented by Republican members of the House of Representatives, such as Amodei’s.

The report was created by analyzing public announcements from the private sector since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act . It tracked public announcements from the private sector between August 16, 2022 and July 25, 2023.


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