Concord, NH–Wind power has grown exponentially in New Hampshire over the last dozen years, and now supplies enough energy to power over 37,000 homes, a new report from Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center said today. In 2014 wind turbines from across the state produced enough energy to reduce carbon pollution from 42,000 cars.
“Wind power here in New Hampshire is already growing steadily, reducing pollution and helping to solve the climate crisis,” said Sharon Solomon, Global Warming Solutions Campaign Coordinator with Environment New Hampshire. “But we need policies to provide steady support for this clean energy resource to maintain our momentum in the fight against global warming.”
The report, Turning to the Wind, comes as state officials determine how to comply with the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action that sets state-by-state limits on carbon pollution from power plants and encourages clean energy development.
The analysis is also timed with what’s become an annual tradition in Congress: waiting until the last minute to renew critical tax incentives for clean energy. The credits, which have helped spur wind power’s growth over the last two decades, expired at the end of last year, and any measure to reinstate them must be adopted before Congress adjourns for the year on December 18.
"This report is important since according to the New England ISO, more than 40% of anticipated new generation capacity in the region is expected to come from wind," said Representative Robert Backus of Hillsborough District 19. "Even though some wind projects in New Hampshire have proved to be controversial, we know that meeting the region's needs will require we continue to advance this fuel free and therefore non-polluting resource."
The report also showed that renewing tax credits for clean energy sources could spur enough wind development by 2020 to further reduce carbon pollution equal to that produced by as many as 18,000 cars. Nationwide, as much as 104.2 million tons of carbon pollution could be avoided.
As world leaders meet in Paris to hammer out an international agreement to slash climate-changing emissions, environmental advocates said wind power should play a critical role.
“To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Solomon, “and that must include doing everything we can to develop abundant, pollution-free wind power.”