Renewable Energy

Environment
6:20 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Environmental Group: Governors' Natural Gas Proposal Too Expensive, Rushed

Credit natural gas drilling / Flickr CC

An Environmental Group says regional energy policy makers and the natural gas industry have too cozy a relationship. To prove their case the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released a series of documents obtained by right to know requests. Those indicated therein say the claim is overblown.

The release highlights a growing unease in the environmental community toward bringing new natural gas pipeline into New England.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Solar Power: Brightening Prospects In New England?

Credit mhsorens / Flickr/CC

This sun-fueled source is one of the fastest growing types of renewable energy in the country.  Although still a tiny piece of the energy portfolio, many are taking note of this expansion, including traditional utilities.  We’re looking at these brightening prospects for solar in New Hampshire and New England and the challenges that might cloud its future growth.

GUESTS:

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North Country
4:39 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Switching To Wood Heat: Grants Now Available Businesses

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new state program is offering financial help to businesses that would like to start using wood pellets rather than heating oil.

The grants are designed to help businesses buy new heating systems that use a homegrown, renewable resource: wood.

The money is available through the Public Utilities Commission’s  Sustainable Energy Division.

Jack Ruderman is its head.

“We’re offering a rebate of up to 30 percent of the cost of the heating system and installation with a cap of $50,000 per system," says Jack Ruderman, the head of the division.

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Environment
12:09 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Unitil Is Latest Utility To Fold Renewable Power Option

Credit Julian- / Flickr Creative Commons

  Starting tomorrow Unitil customers will no longer be able to buy renewable energy from the utility.  Only 25 of the company’s 75,000 customers in the state opt to pay extra for renewable power, and the utility says the cost of running the program don’t justify continuing it.

Unitil’s Green Neighbor program has been around for three years, which is when the legislature required utilities to create such programs. But only .03 percent of their customers signed on, and so the law allows them to ask regulators for permission to shutter the renewable option.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

A Surge For Solar Power?

Credit mhsorens / Flickr Creative Commons

This sun-fueled source is one of the fastest growing types of renewables in the country.  Although still a tiny piece of the energy portfolio, many are taking note of this expansion, including traditional utilities.  We’re looking at these brightening prospects for solar in New Hampshire and New England and the challenges that might cloud its future growth.

GUESTS:

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NH News
12:11 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Rep. Kuster Pushes For National Renewable Electricity Standard

Credit Michael Kappel / Flickr Creative Commons

 U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster wants to require utility companies to produce at least 25 percent of their power from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biomass by 2025.   Kuster is co-sponsoring legislation to create a national Renewable Electricity Standard. She says doing so would help create nearly 300,000 jobs, cut pollution and save consumers almost $100 billion on their utility bills by 2030.   According to Kuster, 29 states, including New Hampshire, already have renewable generation standards.    

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NH News
3:17 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

New England Governors Agree On Regional Energy Infrastructure 'Mission Statement'

Credit Chris Hunkeler / Flickr Creative Commons

The governors of all six New England states have signed an agreement that aims to lower energy costs and improve electricity reliability.

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Environment
4:37 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Citing Low Participation, PSNH To Phase Out Green Energy Program

Weighted for Population, government data rank New Hampshire around 12th for voluntary purchase of "green" power, and last in New England.
Credit National Renewable Energy Laboratory / NREL

Regulators have given Public Service of New Hampshire, the state’s largest electric utility, permission to phase out its EarthSmart Green rate, which allows customers pay more to support renewable energy. PSNH asked for relief from the program because just 148 customers are signed up; that’s about .04 percent percent of their customers.

But it’s a phenomenon that isn’t unique to PSNH. In general New Hampshire rate-payers haven’t been convinced to switch to more expensive renewable rates.

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Environment
5:57 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Budget Deal Funds LCHIP, Raids Renewable Energy Fund

A big priority for environmental groups – The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, or LCHIP – has survived through budget negotiations. But that win comes at the expense of a raid on funds set aside for renewable energy development.

Under the budget deal struck today LCHIP was allotted the full $8 million dollars that it’s expected to raise. The program uses funds raised from fees tacked on certain real-estate transactions to pay for land conservation grants.

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Politics
5:30 am
Mon June 17, 2013

'Obamacare' And Green Energy Bill Bound Together By Poison Pill Tactic

Credit Land Rover Our Planet / Alex E. Proimos / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is one of only three states with a split legislature: Republicans control the Senate, Democrats the House of Representatives. The two bodies have shown an ability to work together on some issues this session, including business tax credits and limits on lead fishing tackle.

But with the end of the legislative year fast approaching, inter-chamber gamesmanship is on the rise. It can start simple enough. A routine legislative procedure on the House floor.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun March 31, 2013

The "Production Tax Credit" for Renewal Energy Development

Available on and off since 1992, the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) has bolstered the success of many alternative energy providers. The subsidy has been extended again, but only for a year, a "here today/gone tomorrow" situation that has made it tough for companies to forge ahead with confidence.
Credit Comstock

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What is the "Production Tax Credit" and why is it so important to developing alternative renewable energy?-- Sean Gallagher, Boston, MA

Environmentalists and wind energy boosters breathed a sigh of relief this past January when Congress voted to reinstate the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a federal tax incentive for companies that generate renewable energy from wind, geothermal or “closed-loop” biomass (dedicated energy crops) sources.

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Grafton Wind Project
6:44 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Newfound Lake Group Opposes Grafton Wind Project

A Newfound Lake group has come out in opposition to the proposed wind farm
Credit Mark Seymour / Flickr Creative Commons

The Newfound Lake Region Association is adding its voice to those opposing a new wind farm. As proposed, the Wild Meadows Wind Power Project would include 37 turbines spaced out over six-thousand acres leased in Alexandria, Danbury, and Grafton.  At the blades’ peak, the towers would be 400-feet tall. 

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North Country
5:20 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Northern Pass Competitors: Project Needs Renewable Energy Funds

A group of power providers that would compete with the Northern Pass says the project can’t make money without some kind of renewable energy, government subsidy, an assertion  Northern Pass disputes.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

 

A group of New England power generators is worried Northern Pass will try to get federal or state subsidies by persuading government officials to declare its electricity is renewable.

Such hydro-electric power is not currently eligible for subsidies.

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Environment
1:18 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Expanded Renewable Energy Rules Pass NH House

Biomass could get a boost if the new renewable rules pass
Asea Flikr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House has passed a new version of the rules that govern what counts as renewable energy. The bill would expand the definition of renewable to include thermal energy.

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Environment
4:19 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

New Renewable Energy Rules Face an Uphill Battle

Concord Steam has been in operation since 1938. Originally it was the heat plant for the State Hospital, but now it heats and powers parts of the downtown.
Sam Evans-Brown

 

The New Hampshire legislature is considering a bill that would expand the state’s renewable portfolio standards. That means more money to subsidize renewable energy.

Supporters say the measure is a real boost to the state’s wood industries, but critics doubt whether the new subsidies are worth the price.

There’s a little something for everyone in the new Renewable Portfolio Standards.

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