Renewable Energy Standard Impact for New Hampshire

A national renewable electricity standard of 20 percent by 2020 would produce more than 1,000 jobs in New Hampshire, according to a new study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A national standard could require 20 percent of our nation’s electricity to come from clean renewable sources such as wind, biomass, and solar energy. The renewable electricity standard would create 1.5 times more jobs in New Hampshire than generating electricity from fossil fuels. Development of renewable energy would also provide a significant source of new income for New Hampshire’s rural communities from capital investment and direct payments, the study found. “New Hampshire should be a national leader on renewable energy,” said Jim Rubens, a UCS consultant and former state senator. “We are producing less than three percent of our electricity from non-hydro renewable energy when much more is possible. By supporting a national renewable electricity standard, our Congressional delegation can provide the state with safe and reliable domestic energy sources while reducing acid rain and ensuring cleaner air and water for everyone. There is no economic trade-off in embarking on a clean energy future.” A national renewable electricity standard would also save New Hampshire consumers $130 million on their energy bills through 2020. Nationally, the consumer savings would be more than $49 billion. The national standard achieves these cost savings primarily by reducing the demand for — and the price of — natural gas. The analysis found that by 2020, a national 20 percent renewable electricity standard would produce benefits for New Hampshire such as: – A net gain of more than 350 new jobs in manufacturing, construction, operation, maintenance, and other industries. – $571 million in capital investment. – $42 million in additional property tax revenues for rural communities. – $61 million in income for farmers and rural landowners from wind power leases and the harvesting of low-grade timber for biomass energy production. “New Hampshire can use renewable energy to create jobs, save consumers money on their energy bills and protect public health,” said Marchant Wentworth, Washington representative for Clean Energy, with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “New Hampshire can harness its tremendous renewable energy potential to benefit the entire state.” Growth in power plant carbon emissions — a major contributor to global warming — would be 59 percent lower in 2025 under a national renewables standard of 20 percent by 2020. The same policy would reduce other pollutants from burning fossil fuels such as nitrogen oxides that produce smog, acid rain, and mercury that harms human health. Increasing renewable energy use would also reduce the environmental impacts of extracting and transporting fossil fuels.
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