NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire, the Granite State, rests on land native to the Abenaki and Pennacock tribes, displaced during colonization beginning in the 1600s. New Hampshire became the first of the colonies to create a constitution and declare independence from Britain. Home to just 1.4 million people, New Hampshire covers almost 9 thousand square miles.

Summers in New Hampshire are becoming hotter and muggier and extreme heat days are expected to quadruple by 2050 — from 10 to more than 40 days per year. One consequence of hotter temperatures is the increase in the severity of storms. Since 1958, precipitation in New Hampshire from heavy storms has increased by 70%. Average precipitation in New Hampshire is likely to continue increasing in winter and spring but remain relatively consistent through summer and fall. As snow melts earlier and water evaporates more quickly, soil will be left drier by summer and fall. New Hampshire ranks fourth nationally in terms of state ski revenue per capita, but that industry is threatened as winters warm. Across the country, ski areas are facing a decline in the length of the season by as much as 50% by 2050.

Officially, New Hampshire has a little more than 18 miles of Atlantic coastline, a small strip between Massachusetts’s and Maine’s more well-known coasts. However, the Department of Environmental Services recognizes 235 miles, which includes estuarian shoreline. Estuaries feed into wetlands, which are an important natural defense against coastal flooding. Humans have been filling wetlands for development since the 1800s, and as climate change promises sea level rise, especially along the Atlantic where the coastline is sinking, these New Hampshire residents are becoming increasingly vulnerable. 5,000 people live at risk of coastal flooding in New Hampshire today and that number is expected to increase to 7,000 by 2050.

New Hampshire’s rugged and varied terrain offers plentiful natural resources to the state, including some of the highest winds ever recorded, and New Hampshire was the site of the nation’s first attempt at a commercial wind farm. However, renewable resources supply only about 1/6 of the state’s electrical generation and biomass and hydroelectric facilities provide most of that with nuclear energy occuping the largest share of New Hampshire’s energy generation. In 2019, 60% of the state’s generation came from one nuclear power plant. Natural gas supplies about 20%. Two coal-fired electricity generating stations are still in use in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s leadership has taken decisive steps towards confronting challenges presented by climate change. The state’s Climate Action Plan was finalized in 2009, which provided wide-ranging recommendations including a call for the creation of a separate adaptation plan and the initiation of an interdisciplinary Energy and Climate Collaborative. A number of legislative efforts have continued to build on this plan, including a 2016 mandate for the Department of Environmental Services to update and summarize coastal flooding trends. However, an overarching and comprehensive planning piece of legislation has yet to be passed, and neither has legislation targeting emissions reduction. Such a bill got its first hearing at the beginning of 2020.

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CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

City panel endorses Keene’s community power plan

06/04/21
Keene’s community power plan, a key part of the city’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, will head to the City Council next month after receiving a unanimous recommendation from a committee…

List of New Hampshire State and Local Regional Plans

03/20/19
This page provides an overview of the steps New Hampshire is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The New Hampshire Climate Action Plan

03/20/19
Over the course of a year, through a process that engaged over 125 stakeholders and received input from over 200 citizens, the 29 members of Governor John Lynch’s Climate Change Policy Task Force developed this…

KEY RESOURCES

New Hampshire State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/10/21
New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in the nation, but its landscapes range from ocean beaches to rugged mountains, and its mountains, rivers, and forests hold plentiful renewable energy resources. The state is…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in New Hampshire

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, New Hampshire experienced one winter storm. The damages of the event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in New Hampshire

07/31/20
New Hampshire is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, floods and droughts, and a shorter winter. New Hampshire’s climate has already warmed by two or three degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Increasing temperatures are causing spring…

Renewable Energy

02/27/20
​Learn about renewable energy options, identify possibilities for your community, and implement a project to generate clean energy while also saving money.

Sustainable Energy Division

02/27/20
The Sustainable Energy Division was created in 2008 to assist the Commission in implementing specific state legislative initiatives focused on promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency and to advance the goals of energy sustainability, affordability…

Renewable Energy

02/27/20
Information from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission on the state's progress on renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Incentives

02/27/20
A list of programs available to New Hampshire residents who have installed or are interested in installing a renewable energy system for their home or small business.

MORE NEWS

Offshore wind energy and job growth: When will New Hampshire make its move?

By Ian Lenahan  Photo: Olivia Falcigno   06/01/21  
 With a gentle breeze blowing through and the Sarah Long Bridge in the backdrop, Rep. Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire, gathered with state leaders at the New Hampshire State Port Authority to discuss the state’s role…

Rhode Island, Maryland, New Hampshire: Battery storage emerges in US’ lesser-heralded states

By Andy Colthorpe   05/19/21  
There are perhaps four or five US states which have become prolific in their deployment of battery energy storage systems. The growth of large-scale battery systems in places like California, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona and New…

Dartmouth study shows renewable energy enhances power grid’s resilience

By Julie E. Bonette   05/13/21  
Integrating renewable energy into the U.S. electric power system would enhance the grid’s resilience, meaning a highly resilient and decarbonized energy system is possible, according to new research from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering.

Support grows for offshore wind development on Seacoast

By Benjamin Domaingue   05/07/21  
With the Biden administration aiming to expand renewable energy projects along the East Coast, research from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) shows high support from coastal recreation visitors. Recreation, which accounts for nearly $1.5…

Somssich-Wells: New Hampshire’s energy future: A path forward

By Peter Somssich and Ken Wells   04/28/21  
Today, energy costs NH residents a lot of money! The annual amount we pay for electricity and heating fuel for NH homes is $1.9 billion, more than $2,000 per NH adult. But that only accounts…

Federal Grant Will ‘Green Up’ Banks of Merrimack River To Guard Against Floods, Pollution

By Annie Ropeik  Photo: Annie Ropeik / NHPR   04/28/21  
A new federal grant aims to protect the Merrimack River from climate change, pollution and development pressures in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The U.S. Forest Service says the Merrimack River watershed is one of the…

Home buyouts may be one solution to the climate change flooding on Cape Cod

By Doug Fraser  Photo: Steve Heaslip   04/26/21  
Blish Point residents Miriam and Herb Kronish lost a car to a prior flood. So when they found their house surrounded by water in January 2018, the couple got in their car and drove it…
VPR

How Risk From Climate Change Will Reshape Flood Insurance In N.H. and New England

By Annie Ropeik  Photo: Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public / NENC   04/24/21  
People living on and off the coast of New England will soon be at a greater risk from flooding due to heavier rain and rising seas caused by climate change. Global warming will put more…

As New Hampshire Warms, UNH Studies Effects Of More Freeze-Thaw Cycles

By Rick Ganley, Annie Ropeik & Mary McIntyre  Photo: Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR file   04/21/21  
In New Hampshire and much of New England, climate change is already causing a lot more of what's sometimes called winter whiplash -- rapid freeze-thaw cycles, from unusually warm to bitter cold and back again…

The environmental benefits of going solar

By Julia Westbrook   04/20/21  
In honor of Earth Day, let’s shine a light on the ways that adding solar panels to your home or business makes a big difference for our planet (and some surprising ways it saves us…

‘It’s My Future’: A New Generation Of Young Climate Activists Takes The Helm In New Hampshire

By Annie Ropeik  Photo: Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public   04/20/21  
By the time today's teenagers turn 50, New England's climate will feel very different. Under current warming trends, states like New Hampshire will have shorter winters with less snow. Some coastal areas will be underwater.…

Ice Out: How N.H.’s rite of spring has become a symbol of climate change

By Stephanie Hanes  Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman   04/08/21  
For the past few weeks, Dave Emerson has been taking off from his airstrip on the southern side of Lake Winnipesaukee, flying his Cessna across this largest lake in New Hampshire, and looking – very…

Keene City Council approves plan to meet ambitious clean-energy goals

By Paul Cuno-Booth  Photo by Michael Moore   01/21/21  
The Keene City Council on Thursday adopted a sweeping plan to transition the city to 100-percent renewable energy in the coming decades.

Peterborough talk to help kick off campaign for clean-energy goals

By Mia Summerson   01/21/21  
PETERBOROUGH — A grassroots group that wants to see Peterborough transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 will host a panel discussion tonight, launching its campaign to pass a warrant article at town meeting…

Offshore wind project raises questions for lobstermen

By Anne Berleant   01/18/21  
ELLSWORTH — A Gulf of Maine offshore wind power initiative Maine Governor Janet Mills rolled out late last year has raised concern in the lobster fishing community, with Maine Lobstermen’s Association Executive Director Patrice McCarron telling…

N.H. Would Spur Major Offshore Wind Development, Under Planned Bill

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by BOEM   01/01/21  
State senators are working on a bill that would have New Hampshire spur the development of major offshore wind projects and other renewable energy in the region.

Climate Change Made 2020 Another Of New Hampshire’s Hottest-Ever Years

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by Kate Brindley   01/01/21  
This past year was another of the hottest years on record in New Hampshire, as the warming trends of climate change continue -- faster in this region than many others, especially in winter.

Why I Still Don’t Want to Talk About Net Metering

By D. Maurice Kreis   12/28/20  
Earlier this year, at the conclusion of a public talk I gave in Dover about my work, a member of the audience raised her hand and asked me the secret of my success as Consumer…

Renewable Energy Proposals Could Get Cold Reception In 2021 N.H. Legislature

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by Rob   12/25/20  
Renewable Energy Proposals Could Get Cold Reception In 2021 N.H. Legislature | New Hampshire Public Radio (nhpr.org)

Study: N.H. Saved $83 Million With Small Solar In Recent Years

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by Amy Quinton   12/07/20  
A new report finds that small-scale solar power saved New Hampshire residents and utilities at least $83 million over the past several years, out of $1.1 billion in savings across New England.

NH Senate incumbent endorsed by 350 Action New Hampshire

By Anika Clark   10/20/20  
N.H. Sen. Jeanne Dietsch has received the endorsement of 350 Action New Hampshire, her campaign recently announced. Dietsch, D-Peterborough, is hoping to fend off a challenge from Bedford Republican Denise Ricciardi as she runs for…

UNH’s Shoals Marine lab to serve as template for improving island life

Photo by Jim Coyer   10/19/20  
Living on a remote island can be idyllic but it does come with some challenges when accessing inexpensive and reliable energy as well as clean drinking water. The University of New Hampshire has received a…

Regulators Approve N.H.’s First Large Solar Array, Planned By NextEra In Fitzwilliam

By Annie Ropeik   10/19/20  
Solar power in New Hampshire took a big step forward Monday, as the state Site Evaluation Committee unanimously approved a utility-scale solar project for the first time. The 30-megawatt Chinook Solar array will cover about…

Regulators Signal Support For N.H.’s First Big Solar Farm As Final Hearings Begin

By Annie Ropeik   10/16/20  
State regulators didn't raise major concerns Friday at the start of final deliberations on New Hampshire’s first-ever major solar power project. The 30-megawatt Chinook Solar array is proposed by Florida-based NextEra, which also owns Seabrook…

As Climate Change Drives Droughts, Water Conservation And Infrastructure Are Key

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by Annie Ropeik   10/16/20  
The bog behind Jen Kippin's house in Hooksett, New Hampshire, has never been this dry. Normally there’s ducks and frogs, and enough mud and water for her grandsons to lose their sneakers in. But right…

What Are The Presidential Candidates’ Views On Climate Change?

By Jeff Brady   10/15/20  
We're spending a few days this week digging into where the presidential candidates stand on some of the key issues in this election. Today, it's climate change. President Trump and Joe Biden have dramatically different…

State Approves Small Expansion At Bethlehem Landfill Facing Pollution Suit

By Annie Ropeik   10/13/20  
The state has approved an expansion for the North Country’s largest private landfill, allowing the Bethlehem facility’s owner to add six acres or about 1.2 million cubic yards in capacity.

A Farewell To Ice Fishing? Climate Change Leads To Less Lake Ice

By Barbara Moran  Photo by Derek Davis   10/08/20  
Max Holmes grew up near the shores of Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. He recalled playing on the frozen lake as a kid — ice skating, which he hated, and ice fishing with his family, which…

603 Solar completes 16.8-kW array on Shelburne, New Hampshire, town hall

By Kelsey Misbrener   10/05/20  
Enphase Energy announced that 603 Solar deployed a 16.8-kWDC solar array on the town hall building for the community of Shelburne, New Hampshire. After other recent energy efficiency upgrades to the town hall building, the…

N.H. offshore wind panel looks to catch up, collaborate with its neighbors

By David Thill   10/05/20  
As politics and the pandemic stall offshore wind permitting and planning, New Hampshire sees a window of opportunity to bring its plans for the industry into focus.

‘Last Chance’ To Conserve Well Water As N.H.’s Drought Spreads, State Warns

By Annie Ropeik   10/01/20  
More than 10 percent of New Hampshire is now in an extreme drought, with Lake Winnipesaukee and other reservoirs at record low levels and an increasing number of water wells running dry. The drought is…

Concord Emissions Study Points To Climate Solutions

By Annie Ropeik   09/30/20  
A new emissions inventory for the city of Concord points to potential climate change solutions as the state capital works to sharply lower its greenhouse gas emissions. Concord’s city council set its climate change goals in…

New Hampshire, Climate, and Public Health: New Commission Seeks to Up the State’s Game

By John Rogers   09/28/20  
A new state commission in New Hampshire is driving the local conversation forward on emissions reductions, public health and climate change.

Is New England’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project Really a Win for the Climate?

By Tara Lohan  Photo by Fyn Kynd   09/24/20  
Construction could start soon on New England’s biggest renewable energy project, a 1,200-megawatt-capacity transmission line to deliver renewable energy to Massachusetts customers. The proposed project, New England Clean Energy Connect, has cleared most of its…

As New Hampshire Enters Extreme Drought, Officials Urge Water Conservation

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by Annie Ropeik   09/24/20  
Part of New Hampshire has entered an extreme drought for only the second time in 20 years. The extreme conditions center on the Dover area and extend in a circle from Great Bay, to near…

Reporter Debrief: Climate Change And Forest Fires In The Northeast

By Annie Ropeik & Henry Epp   09/24/20  
Nearly all regions of the three northern New England states are experiencing some level of abnormally dry conditions right now, with some areas in a moderate to extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.…

Environmentalist opposition split regarding latest power transmission plan since Northern Pass

By Stephen Singer Hartford Courant   09/23/20  
Environmentalists in New England are less than unanimous in their opposition to the latest transmission power line project. Avangrid, the parent company of Connecticut’s United Illuminating, is seeking what could be final approvals to build…

Small Forest Fires Cropping Up In N.H. As Severe Drought Continues

By Annie Ropeik   09/23/20  
The Merrimack River fire was first spotted by a local fisherman and a state police helicopter Tuesday evening, but responders had trouble accessing it in the dark. Concord’s interim fire chief, Guy Newbery, said river…

Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…

New Hampshire considering vehicle charging as gateway to time-of-use rates

By David Thill  Photo: Ken Kistler / Creative Commons   06/08/20  
State regulatory staff recently recommended that utilities offer discounts for charging vehicles during off-peak hours.

New permit for Bow power plant does not require cooling towers, which EPA had required in 2011

By Josie Albertson-Grove   05/28/20  
The coal power plant in Bow will not have to install $112 million cooling towers, after the EPA removed the requirement from the plant’s new permit. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a new permit for…

EPA Reverses Cooling Plan For N.H.’s Largest Coal Power Plant

By Annie Ropeik  Photo by Annie Ropeik   05/27/20  
A new federal permit for New Hampshire's largest coal-fired power plant will not require the installation of cooling towers, which advocates say are vital to protect the Merrimack River.

Guest View: Collect renewable energy payments for rooftop solar

By Rep. Peter Somssich   05/27/20  
As a member of the Science Technology & Energy (STE) committee of the NH House of Representatives during the past three years, I have been dealing with issues surrounding energy generation, renewable and sustainable energy…

NH businesses step up on climate change

By Bob Sanders   05/13/20  
Londonderry-based Megafood pays its farmers to sink carbon. Filtrine Manufacturing Company of Keene powers its equipment with the sun, and heats its operations with wood.

NH signs energy-efficiency deal for over 20 Seacoast buildings

05/13/20  
The state of New Hampshire has signed a 20-year energy savings performance contract, or ESPC, to implement energy conservation measures at more than 20 state facilities throughout the Seacoast.

Ameresco Partners with New Hampshire on Energy Savings Performance Contract

05/11/20  
Ameresco, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, is partnering with the State of New Hampshire on an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) that will allow for energy conservation measures at over 20 state…

How Coastal NH Is Planning for Climate Change

05/08/20  
Some communities in New Hampshire are preparing for road closures twice a day, every day, because of flooding at high tide. f

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in New Hampshire

By Sam Hananel   05/08/20  
Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses…

On Earth Day, N.H. Legislators Push Renewable Energy As Post-Coronavirus Economic Solution

By Annie Ropeik   04/22/20  
Democratic state lawmakers say they'll push for renewable energy development as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. State senator and gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes addressed the issue during a virtual Earth Day town hall…

New Hampshire Senate digs deep into renewable energy policy

By Bob Sanders   03/11/20  
There are other ways besides net metering to facilitate large-scale renewable and energy-efficiency projects, and several bills were introduced in the Senate Tuesday to make them more viable options for businesses and municipalities.