Posts Categorized: Public Policy Issues

We cover all kinds of public policy issues facing Las Vegas and Nevada in general, including those related to the state’s budget, fiscal situation, labor market, and various other industries, such as gaming, real estate, or even solar. Actually, the Nevadan solar industry has seen remarkable growth in recent years, a fact which has not eluded us.

Significantly, national headlines have been promoting recent huge increases by the solar industry in Nevada. Benefiting from a 146% increase in solar related jobs over 2013, nearly 6,000 Nevadans are now employed by the solar industry. As reported by the Solar Foundation, Nevada now leads the country in solar jobs per capita.

The current solar boom in the Silver State has been aided by public policy initiatives and forward focused leadership on alternative energy. Some critics though have charged that solar energy may suffer from the same boom and bust cycles that have plagued other Nevada industries such as mining. One of the most common complaints is that solar only generates short term regional economic job growth through temporary construction jobs. Once the facilities are built, those jobs disappear.

Such critics point out the numbers for the Silver State South solar project. Under construction near Primm, Nevada, the 250 megawatt solar energy project has created around 300 construction jobs. Once the facility is complete though, it will require only around 10 full time employees to operate. Much like other large infrastructure projects, the largest job growth is temporary and only at the beginning of the project.

Of course, thousands of solar jobs are also being created in Nevada for residential solar power. Nevada’s largest residential solar provider, SolarCity, has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years and still hiring. Along with installation teams, SolarCity also employs account managers, customer service representatives, other support staff. While SolarCity’s growth is dependant on new homeowners installing solar, it will likely be a long time before every Nevadan has solar on their house.

As with all emerging technologies, the ultimate success of Nevada’s public policy on solar energy will be determined in the future. Stay tuned with RCG1 Economics for more reports on public policy issues in Nevada and on the regional economic situation in the Silver state.

The Pandemic is Resetting Nevada’s Economy: The Path Forward

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The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development released the state’s post-pandemic economic plan, prepared by SRI International. RCG Economics was fortunate to participate in the study, along with Brookings Mountain West. As part of this release, RCG is making available both the full SRI report as well as the more detailed version of our economic… Read more »

THE CRITICAL LINK BETWEEN WORKORCE DEVELOPMENT & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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RCG Economics and Dr. Alan Schlottmann, economist with The University of Nevada-Las Vegas (“UNLV”), recently published a “white paper” that assesses the opportunities for the Nevada System of Higher Education (“NSHE”) to increase its participation as a strategic partner in Nevada’s workforce development, job training and placement efforts in order to help create occupations that… Read more »

How Nevada Should Ensure Future Fiscal Security

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This piece on Nevada’s Rainy Day Account (and that we posted as the first installment of RCG’s Public Policy Focus series) raises the following questions:   Did Nevada have the fiscal reserves necessary to fill budget gaps in the first and all subsequent years of the Recession? Does Nevada have enough in reserves to fill the current budget… Read more »

Public Policy Focus: Nevada’s Rainy Day Fund Needs Reform

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Publisher’s Note: In advance of the 2015 Nevada legislative session and in the interest of contributing to the state’s perennial tax-and-spend debate, Nevada by the Numbers is introducing a Public Policy Focus column this month. The intent is to spur and engage in an open, fact-based dialog on taxes, revenue, and related matters. Our inaugural… Read more »