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December 18, 2014

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UNLV gets solar energy research grant

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  • Former President Bill Clinton on working with colleges and universities to reduce climate change.
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  • Dan Weiss, director of climate strategy for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, on the need to transform the economy.
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  • Weiss on hopes for the clean energy summit.
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  • UNLV President David Ashley on UNLV serving as a co-host for the summit.
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  • Sen. Harry Reid on reasons to eliminate the dependence on fossil fuels.
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UNLV has won a $738,000 federal grant to fund solar research, Sen. Harry Reid announced Wednesday.

The grant will fund solar nanotechnology research to identify methods for developing high-efficiency and low-cost solar cells in mass quantities.

“I believe Nevada will lead a global clean energy revolution, and the great work being done at our universities will be a major part of this effort,” Reid said in a statement.

The announcement came the same day Reid and former President Bill Clinton touted a clean energy summit they’re sponsoring at UNLV next month.

In a conference call with reporters, they said recommendations from the event will be presented at the Republican and Democrat national conventions, and be pitched to be included in their respective platforms.

"This is going to be a perfect place for trying to set a standard ... and we are going to take the findings that we develop at this summit to both the

Democratic and Republican national conventions," Reid said Wednesday. "Hopefully they'll put some of our materials in their platforms."

Echoing a familiar refrain, Reid said clean energy is good for the economy, the environment, job creation and national security, and that Nevada - with abundant renewable resources such as sun, wind and geothermal hot water - is the perfect place to start an energy revolution.

Clinton said the federal government - and the next president - must also play a key role in moving the country toward a "post-carbon future" by

crafting a national clean energy policy to help reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions.

Joining Reid and Clinton on the call Wednesday were Dan Weiss, director of climate strategy for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and David Ashley, president of UNLV, both sponsors of the event.

Scheduled to speak at the Aug. 19 event are Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and controversial financier and wind-energy proponent T. Boone Pickens. Reid said governors, scientist from the national energy labs and members of congress are expected to attend.

Clinton said the event will provide an opportunity for educators, researchers and policy makers to discuss solutions to climate change that can be presented to voters during the upcoming election.

"The American people are ahead of the politicians on this one," Clinton said.

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