Granite State’s Path To Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The population of the “Granite State”, New Hampshire is approximately 1.37 million people[1]. In May 2020, state utilities used nuclear energy (66.8%), renewable energy (20.7%), and natural gas (12.5%) to generate electricity[2]. Wind and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s use of nuclear energy contributes to the state’s above average cost of electricity. In May 2020, the average cost of residential electricity in New Hampshire was 19.34 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 13.14 ¢ per kWh.

New Hampshire is one of thirty states that has an enforceable statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires that the state’s electricity providers, except for municipal utilities, acquire 25.2% of the electricity they sell from renewable energy sources by 2025.

In April 2018, the state’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, released the New Hampshire 10-Year State Energy Strategy. The key components of the strategy include:

  • Prioritize cost-effective energy policies.
  • Ensure a secure, reliable, and resilient energy system.
  • Encourage market-selection of cost-effective energy systems.
  • Adopt all-resource energy strategies and minimize government barriers to innovation.
  • Achieve environmental protection that is cost-effective and enables economic growth.
  • Maximize the economic lifespan of existing resources while integrating new entrants on a levelized basis.

New Hampshire’s energy strategies reflect the state’s high cost of power. In 2020, New Hampshire’s cost of residential electricity is the 7th highest state in the nation. Although the levelized cost of nuclear power is three to four times the cost of onshore wind[3], nuclear reactors generate zero greenhouse gases.

The state’s only nuclear facility, Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant is projected to continue to operate through 2050. New Hampshire has put in place plans integrate new, cheaper renewable energy projects to first replace existing natural gas power plants and then to prepare for the closure of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.

Many states pass RPS legislation to achieve 100% power from renewable energy with absolutely no plan in place to achieve this goal. New Hampshire already generates over 87% of the state’s power from sources that generate no greenhouse gas emissions. The state is now implementing a viable energy plan to achieve zero carbon emissions within the next ten years.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


[1] New Hampshire Population 2020, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Energy Information Agency – New Hampshire State Profile and Energy Estimates

[3] Bloomberg New Energy Finance, April 2020

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