With lots of proposals on the table right now, from biomass to wind to hydropower, efforts are underway once again to develop a statewide plan and judge these projects with that broader frame of reference in mind. But it’s not an easy process, taking into account various concerns from the environment to property values to energy costs.
Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister calls for a complete re-think on energy policy. Hofmeister currently heads the group “Citizens for Affordable Energy.” He says investing in twenty-first century energies is the only stimulus our economy needs. But that won’t happen, he says, unless private industry takes the reins and government gets largely out of the way.
John Hofmeister - Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy and former Shell Oil President.
Vermont editor Tom Butler says no matter how energy efficient we become, there’s a limit to our consumption, even with renewable green sources. Instead, he says, we must recognize the true costs of our relentless search for resources to power perpetual growth. We’ll look at this idea and others presented in a sweeping new book called Energy.
Clay Mitchell from Revolution Energy surveys the 60 kW solar array at East Kingston Elementary school. Despite cold temperatures the week before, the panels give off enough heat that most of the snow has slide right off.
For the most dedicated environmentalists, small scale renewables, right in our back-yard are the gold standard of energy generation. In the final installment of this weeklong look at New Hampshire’s energy future, we consider what a more distributed grid might look like.
This is SustainX's prototype of a 40 kW compressed air storage system in their facility in Seabrook. This machine has since been cannibalized to create a much larger 2 MW prototype. These machines can be used to smooth demand, either from renewables or for large electric users trying to save some money off peak energy rates.
The energy grid is vastly more complicated than it was ten years ago. The old model was to plug in and pay for what you use, but now the grid is starting to ask for something back from consumers. This change is aimed at flatten the demand curve.
Think about how you use electricity: you wake up, turn on some lights, and maybe have a hot shower. After work you come home, cook some dinner, and watch TV. In the winter, maybe you heat with some kind of electric heat, or – even more likely – maybe in the summer you switch on AC.
New Hampshire’s energy grid relies heavily on fossil fuels like oil and coal, and getting the grid off of those fuels will be a major hurdle in addressing the challenge of global warming.
But here in New Hampshire, it’s proving a steep challenge to get carbon out of the electric supply, without breaking the bank for customers or utilities. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t trying. As part of a weeklong look at New Hampshire’s Energy Future, we ask what’s being done about CO2?
Energy is big business and a big issue inextricably linked to politics. Rising gas prices and huge natural gas and oil finds in the U.S. thrust energy into the 2012 presidential arena, but little was said about nuclear power—which supplies about a fifth of America’s power. Although some environmentalists are now advocating for nukes, the question of how to safely isolate existing waste has been plaguing the industry and government for decades.
A proposed wind farm in the Newfound lake area has once again raised familiar themes in New Hampsire: A desire for the Granite state to use more clean energy, versus local concerns over property values, as well as impacts on the environment and tourism. We’ll re-examine these arguments in light of this new proposal.
As summer hits Cape Cod, out come the fishing rods, sailboats, and…. Hockey pucks? In Falmouth, Massachusetts, youth hockey leagues and recreational skaters are carving up the ice in a brand new ice rink this month – one that’s powered by summer sunlight. Independent producer Sarah Reynoldshas the story.
How energy efficient is the Granite State? A new reports says not very, at least in terms of our buildings. Three years after Governor Lynch issued a Climate Action Plan, which included a call for more efficient homes and offices, UNH researchers find the state is way behind where it had hoped to be. We're examining what the problems are, as well as the prospects for future improvement.
The controversial mining method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", has led to a boom in production of cheap natural gas by getting at what was previously inaccessible pockets of gas contained in shale. Energy companies see it as way to reduce America’s dependence on oil and lower our energy bills, but concerns over environmental safety have others saying we need to slow down and study the issue. We cover all sides of fracking and its potential impacts here in New England.
Dear EarthTalk: Renewable energy production in the solar and wind markets currently receives about $7 billion in government subsidies annually, but is still not competitive against fossil fuels on a large scale. To what extent should the U.S. continue to prop up these industries as they compete against dirty energy?-- Jack Morgan, Richmond, VA
Headlines have quieted down on the Hydro-power project called Northern Pass, but efforts to continue and thwart the project are ongoing. A new study questions the need for Northern Pass’s hydropower, given low natural gas prices. Meanwhile, there’s been activity on land purchases in the North Country that could connect the dots for the project’s final route. We will look at that latest news around Northern Pass.