Renewable Portfolio Standards

NHPR

State lawmakers are sending Gov. Chris Sununu a bill that would sharply increase how much solar power utilities must use in their fuel mix. 

The bill would update New Hampshire's renewable portfolio standards, known as the RPS. It aims to get the state using 25 % renewable power by 2025. 

 

Utilities can use fuels like wind, hydro, biomass and solar to comply. Or they can pay in to the state's renewable energy development fund instead. 

 

Rob_ / Flickr CC

Regulators have finished a big review of the state’s renewable portfolio standard, and they say it’s working as planned.

The legislature first enacted the RPS about 10 years ago. New Hampshire’s is one of many around the country.

It requires utilities to ramp up their investment in and use of renewable energy -- including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower -- with a goal of making the state's fuel mix 25.2 percent renewable by 2025.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The legislature is debating whether utilities should tell customers how much of their electric bills go toward renewable energy. 

Monthly energy bills already show how much each customer pays for things like transmission. Now, Rep. Michael Harrington is proposing adding a line, showing the cost per ratepayer of the Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS.

Renewvia Energy Corp

State legislators vote Tuesday on a range of energy-related bills that were delayed last week, including two about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Sara Plourde / NHPR; Data: NH Legislative Budget Assistant

It’s a budget year, and lawmakers will soon be hard at work trying to come up with a balanced two year spending plan. If past is precedent, one place where budget-writers on both sides of the aisle may look for money is from what are known as dedicated funds – pots of money raised by fees and earmarked for specific purposes. But this year the practice may face serious pushback.

Flkr Creative Commons / PSNH

Under a proposed rule out of the EPA Monday, New Hampshire will have to come up with its own plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, many of the building blocks for that plan are already in place.

The new EPA rule says that New Hampshire should emit 486 pounds of carbon per megawatt hour of electricity generated, and that, as of 2012, New Hampshire’s rate was 905 pounds per megawatt hour.

Chris Hunkeler / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan has sent a letter to the governor of Connecticut, Democrat Dannel Malloy, asking him to reject changes to that state’s renewable energy laws, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The changes are seen as a boost to the controversial Northern Pass Transmission line.

The Governor Hassan’s letter says the Connecticut proposal that would allow hydro to be counted toward that state’s renewable energy goals quote, “undermines our common goal of fostering new and small-scale renewable resources here in New England.”