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Sununu Blocks Bill To Expand N.H.'s Required Renewable Energy Use, Now Lowest In New England

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Gov. Chris Sununu handed down another expected veto of a clean energy plan Friday.

He rejected a bill that would expand New Hampshire's Renewable Portfolio Standard and increase how much solar power utilities must use.

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Right now, the state caps that solar requirement at 0.7% from this year on out. The bill Sununu vetoed would have increased that to nearly 19% by the year 2040.

Sununu says it represented a handout to the state's fledgling solar industry. Democrats decried the veto as another effort by the governor to block clean energy expansion.

The bill also would have increased the Renewable Portfolio Standard, to make clean energy cover nearly 57% of New Hampshire's fuel mix by 2040.

The current standard levels out at around 25 percent in 2025 – the lowest percentage, at the earliest date, of any New England state.

Maine's goal for renewable energy usage recently became 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Massachusetts is ramping up toward 80% by 2050.

In Connecticut, the goal is 48% by 2030. Rhode Island's target is 38.5% by 2035. And Vermont is working toward 75% renewable adoption by 2032.

Click here to see more about NHPR's climate change reporting project, By Degrees, and to share your ideas and questions for future stories.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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