Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas’s Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings

Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas’s Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings – Gov. Joe Lombardo certainly didn’t realize the politician’s credo of “timing is everything” when he announced that he was withdrawing Nevada from the U.S. Climate Alliance. The decision comes as Southern Nevada is in the midst of an epic heat wave and everyone’s newsfeeds are filled with the horrors of daily floods, climate-triggered building collapses, and unrelenting heat domes. The head-scratching times and decision to turn away from interstate cooperation are setbacks for Nevada’s economy, our health and our reputation as an innovative and dynamic state.

Withdrawing from the pact robs Nevadans of the opportunity to benefit from sharing information and best practices to reduce pollution and prepare our state for climate consequences such as increased heat, drought, electric grid stress, air pollution, new insect-borne diseases and water quality concerns. The alliance recently announced the release of a new website and database to examine these issues and share solutions. Many of our municipalities and counties are involved in sustainability planning and projects, and the lack of state-level coordination will reduce their capacity.

Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas’s Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings

Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas's Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings

Maybe Governor Lombardo doesn’t realize that 60 percent of Nevadans believe that global warming is already hurting people in the U.S., and 56 percent think the governor needs to do more to address global warming.

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In 2023, more people are concerned and worried about climate change than a decade ago. Further, most people realize that their personal actions are not enough, and that we must have large-scale policy solutions. A large number of Clark County residents provided input for the county’s sustainability plan. Most resort companies, Allegiant Stadium and small businesses across the state understand that leaning into sustainability is good for customer relationships and often good for their bottom line.

Critics might point out that Nevada’s carbon footprint is small — unlike giant economies like China and India. But what we do here is very important, locally and globally. Globally, U.S. leadership is crucial in promoting accountability and spreading clean technologies around the world. Already, the Inflationary Reduction Act is expected to drive a “green premium” that will reduce global emissions by 2.4-2.9 tons for every ton of reduction in the U.S.

Aggressive climate action is good for Nevada’s economy. Solar and energy efficiency businesses employed more than 20,000 Nevadans last year. Additional jobs in renewable construction, electric vehicles, hydropower, wind, geothermal, mining and climate resilience far outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel sector. Efficient electrical appliances for heating, cooling, cooking and other needs save businesses and residents money throughout their lifetime.

Choosing renewables over fossil fuels will immediately benefit the health of Nevadans by reducing air pollution. Air pollution caused largely by the burning of fossil fuels causes at least 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S. It is associated with heart disease and stroke, asthma and chronic lung disease, the risk of death from COVID-19. In children it is linked to everything from infant mortality to school absenteeism. Even dementia and diabetes are likely to be partly caused by air pollution.

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Recent studies show that even short-term spikes in pollution cause spikes in deaths. Populations of color have higher air pollution exposure and Black and low-income residents have a higher risk of pollution-related mortality.

A well-regarded analysis by Duke University researchers shows that following the goals of the U.S. Climate Alliance. under the Paris agreement would save an estimated 4.5 million premature deaths in the U.S. over 50 years, providing more than $700 billion in benefits from better health and worker productivity. Nevadans should embrace this opportunity to ease the burden on our overburdened health care system.

Nevada is still a place where out-of-the-box ideas can come true. The Nevada company is already leaning into the future with EV ride-sharing, energy-efficient mass-production housing, and more than one battery plant. We have the opportunity to become a dynamic and diverse economy free from dependence on foreign energy. Governor Lombardo should rethink this decision and commit to promoting renewable energy and reducing fossil fuel use in Nevada. A healthy Nevada is a happier, more productive Nevada. On the road to net zero, states face challenges unique to their geography and local resources. In this case study, we explore four custom routes for Nevada.

Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas's Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings

Achieving the goal of net-zero requires the deployment of a portfolio of carbon management solutions on a large scale, with solutions that are technically, economically and socially adapted to the local context.

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As Nevada designs its carbon reduction plan, it should include an assessment of potential environmental justice issues that may arise from the use of clean energy and carbon capture technologies.

The range (in MtCO2/yr) of carbon that needs to be captured by direct air capture (DAC) to achieve net-zero goals.

As of January 2022, twenty-four U.S. states and the District of Columbia have promulgated economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions targets through statutory and/or executive action. These targets usually project a certain level of emission reduction by a specified future date. It can also include language such as “carbon neutrality” or “net zero”, which requires a certain amount of carbon removal to address waste emissions.

While there may be many paths to achieving net zero, not all are created equal. Decisions on technical approaches to carbon reduction and removal will have varying degrees of social and economic impact. These effects must be considered early and often when turning net-zero pledges into action.

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The concept of net zero or carbon neutrality is simple in theory: the declaring entity must ensure that by a certain deadline, there are no net emissions of CO

E to the atmosphere. Any solid net-zero plan begins with a solid assessment of emissions: where they occur, why they occur, and what their trajectory is going forward.

A look at U.S. emissions. by sector provides an immediate picture of where efforts must be located (Figure 1, left). Yet there are two problems with viewing the problem in such broad strokes. The first is that regional contributions by sector may look very different in one area of ​​the country than in another.

Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas's Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings

To zoom in, let’s consider the case of Nevada (Figure 1, right). Like the United States as a whole, most emissions come from transportation and electricity, but in Nevada this figure is greater than the national average. Conversely, fewer emissions come from agriculture, which is understandable given the arid climate, and from industry, due to issues of resource availability and proximity to markets.

Rail Transportation In The United States

Figure 1: Sectoral emissions at national level (left) and state level (right) show similar trends but also highlight the importance of adapting net zero plans to specific state needs and resources (EPA 2019, NDEP 2020, SNDT 2021b).

A potentially bigger issue is the scope of emissions. According to the Corporate Standard of the GHG Protocol (GHGP 2015), emissions can be classified into three categories (Figure 2):

In this report, we consider scope 1 emissions, as these are emissions over which companies and individuals have direct control. For the transportation sector, emissions from fuel production (scope 3) are also considered in our estimates, as most of these emissions are made outside the state and changes in fuel use in Nevada can avoid these emissions.

One complication is that one state’s scope 1 discharge can be another state’s scope 2 or scope 3 discharge. Consider, for example, a power plant in California that supplies electricity to Nevada. This release will count as scope 1 in California and scope 2 in Nevada. Likewise, cars manufactured in Nevada can have scope 3 emissions in other states.

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Having a full understanding of scope is important because in addition to showing where to focus efforts, it also reveals how to implement controls. For example, if a company generates its own electricity, the company has several options to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the generation. If, on the other hand, the electricity is obtained elsewhere, there may be no direct route to achieving emission reductions at the source. In such cases, companies are left with three options: reduce consumption, change suppliers or turn to carbon offsets to compensate. Many solutions will involve a combination of these strategies.

Another complication arising from the net-zero route is the potential for emissions leakage. In this sense, leakage does not refer to physical leakage of emissions from storage reservoirs, but economic leakage of emissions resulting from local emission reduction efforts. For example, lime producers required by the state to decarbonize operations or retrofit with carbon capture and storage (CCS) may instead move operations out of state. While this shift in emissions may show well on the state’s ledger toward net zero, emissions are not reduced, just shifted outside the accounting boundaries.

The opposite situation can also occur, where the actions of a neighboring country can divert emissions to that state through leakage due to economic activity and/or population influx. For example, Nevada’s two western neighbors California and Oregon both have net zero goals. Therefore, it is important for Nevada to closely monitor the policies and efforts of neighboring states to minimize any adverse effects of interstate leakage.

Energy Efficiency In Las Vegas's Transportation Sector: Opportunities For Savings

Figure 3: Three approaches to achieving net zero: emission reduction, emission avoidance and emission elimination. No approach can achieve net zero on its own merits.

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Reduce: At most

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