To plan for a renewable energy future we first need to determine our renewable energy baseline. How much of the energy we currently use in New Hampshire is renewable? According to the most recent data from the federal Department of Energy, about 6.6% of our total energy usage is renewable. Energy sources include heating fuels, transportation fuels and electricity. Of the electricity consumed in New Hampshire, 10.6% is from renewable sources.
This data, regrettably, is specific to 2004 and does not reflect developments such as the use of a 10% ethanol blend in gasoline in large portions of New Hampshire, nor the addition of a new wood-fired electric generating facility. Therefore the 2004 data is used to calculate the amount of renewable energy currently being used in New Hampshire.
Furthermore, it is important to note that New Hampshire generates a substantial amount of renewable electricity much of which, for purposes of our analysis, is assumed to be exported to other states in New England. The reason for this is that roughly 50% of the total electricity generated in New Hampshire from all fuels, renewable and non-renewable, is exported to other states via the regional power grid; it must be assumed that the proportions of renewable and nonrenewable electricity do not vary with location of end users.
New Hampshire’s renewable electricity is generated from a number of sources, including hydropower, wood-fired power plants, and landfill gas-fired generating stations . In addition, a 24-megawatt wind farm is currently under construction in Lempster, NH and is expected to begin producing power in 2008.