Marchand calls to increase renewable energy 50 percent by 2030

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MANCHESTER, NH – Steve Marchand, a Democratic candidate for governor, unveiled his energy plan Monday in front of the Eversource headquarters in Manchester. His goal, which he termed, “thinking big,” is to increase the share of renewable energy sources in New Hampshire to more than 50 percent of the total by 2030.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration(USIA) lists the sources of New Hampshire electricity: 75 percent comes from five, large power plants including 57 percent from Seabrook Nuclear and 20 percent from plants that use natural gas. “Biomass, hydroelectric power, wind, and coal supply nearly all the remaining generation,” the report states.

Amoskeag Dam and hydro generation facility. Photo/Laura Aronson

Marchand described the cost of electricity as a “significant, negative factor in choosing New Hampshire versus somewhere else,” for entrepreneurs and businesses. He said, “As a former mayor, I know electricity is a significant driver of the costs of doing business and a negative factor in why businesses choose to locate in New Hampshire.” He emphasized a long-term policy to lower those costs, and seeks to lower them by 15 to 20 percent.

The USIA report states that New Hampshire, “has among the highest retail electricity rates in the nation.”

“I think in generational terms, compared to the two-year increments of Planet Concord. My plan would allow us to build the relationships, partnerships, and investments to drive real change and lower electric bills by 15 to 20 percent in coming years, and improve our environment, and have a social and economic justice element by helping people in the bottom half of the wage scale get into the game for the savings that come it.”

Marchand’s Energy and Environment plan calls for:

  1. Setting a renewables standard of 50 percent by 2030.
  2. Modernizing the electric grid to lower energy costs and maximize the use of local renewables.
  3. Focusing on strategies to encourage homegrown, sustainable energy.
  4. Increasing funding, awareness, and accessibility to energy efficiency programs.
  5. Opposing Northern Pass and Granite Bridge.