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NH Business: The demand for electricity

Fred Kocher, NH Business host

NH Business: Electricity demand in the 2030s will require “vast amounts of clean, reliable electricity.”

Updated: May 5, 2024, 7:03 a.m. EDT

BUSINESS. I'M FRED KOCHER. The demand for electricity is increasing with more electrical appliances, electric heaters and electric vehicles, as well as data processing centers, shifting the peak utilization of cities from the summer months to the winter months. Check out this graphic from ISO New England, the independent organization that regulates the flow of electricity in the New England states. SIGNIFICANT GROWTH, DEMAND, GROWTH. AND HERE IT IS. The yellow bars represent peak demand in summer and the blue bars represent peak demand in winter. So note the increase in winter demand from 2000 to 23 on the left and to 2050 on the right, all driven by the transition to electric heat as well as electric vehicles and data centers. Over the next quarter century, will New Hampshire make the necessary changes to accommodate this change? Well, we have electric vehicle charging, electric vehicle charging and charging stations. THE STATE IS EXPECTED TO RECEIVE AROUND $70 MILLION IN FIVE YEARS TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS ON TRAVEL ROUTES SUCH AS I-93 AND I-89 HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR CONSERVATION. 43,510,000 A FROM THE SOLAR FOR ALL COMPETITIVE FUNDING PROGRAM. Now I'll turn to SAM EVANS BROWN, executive director of Clean Energy New Hampshire, which has notable board members including former Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Tom Barrack. RIGHT. THAT'S RIGHT. SAM. WELCOME. NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE. THANKS FOR THE INVITATION. THIS CHANGE IN SUMMER. FROM THE SUMMIT TO THE WINTER SUMMIT. Just add the tips, right. AND INCREASES DEMAND. Is New Hampshire Prepared? Well, I would say there are two answers to that. There is electricity generation. And then bringing it into your house on the generational side, I'm pretty optimistic. I WOULD SAY. Looking at the ISO New England interconnection queues, there are tens of thousands of megawatts of clean energy projects and energy storage projects that currently need to be built to meet this demand. AND THAT'S WHY I'M PRETTY RELIABLE. AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LEGISLATION HERE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, WE ARE MAKING THE NECESSARY CHANGES TO ALLOW THAT GENERATIONAL GROWTH. We are adjusting our geolocation procedures to make them more efficient. This year, two bipartisan bills are being introduced in the House of Representatives to speed up siting. AND THERE IS ANOTHER ONE ON THE TOPIC OF INTERCONNECTION THAT IS A LITTLE MORE CONTINUOUS. What is connection? Describe them for our audience? Now when we talk about small projects and community solar projects, that's how it is. Nearly 500 MW of projects currently being built in New Hampshire are in the interconnection study. I just need to figure out how much it will cost to connect it to the grid. THAT'S RIGHT. RIGHT. AND WE MUST ACCELERATE THIS PROCESS. We need clear and transparent timelines and guidelines so that these projects can be implemented. And both bills are being pushed forward on a bipartisan basis. And that's why I'm pretty optimistic about the generation. THE SALES PAGE. I'm worried now about the key players you mentioned: the Legislature, the Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Energy, and of course the utilities themselves. Um, are they all working together to do what you just said? Well, I think the real problem is that the regulatory model under which utilities operate has been around since the last century and needs to be adapted to this modern challenge. Currently, utilities make money by building more capital and infrastructure. And the reality is that as we meet this peak demand by building more and more infrastructure, our electricity rates will rise. IF WE CAN CONTINUE TRYING TO PULL DEMAND OFF THESE PEAKS, THEY WILL SELL MORE KILOWATTH HOURS OF ELECTRICITY THAN OUR EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE. You know, electricity tariffs are a simple problem. REALLY. It is the cost of capital divided by sales. LOWER COST OF CAPITAL, MORE SALES, IMPORTANCE OF CHEAP ELECTRICITY PRICES. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE AVERAGE SMALL BUSINESS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? AND THE AVERAGE HOMEOWNER IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? If we get this right, electricity rates could be reduced for large portions of our economy, which would be a tremendous economic boon for the entire state of New Hampshire. IF WE DO IT WRONG THE OPPOSITE WILL HAPPEN. And that's why we need a reform of these regulatory models. NEXT WEEK IS ENERGY WEEK IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. NEW HAMPSHIRE ENERGY WEEK, A LOT OF THINGS IS HAPPENING NOW. THERE ARE OVER 12 EVENTS ACROSS NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE NEXT WEEK. Participation in most events is free. So check out the website and learn how energy works. NH ENERGY WEEK.ORG ENERGY NH ENERGY WEEK.ORG NH ENERGY FUTURES DOT ORG IS THE WEBSITE. THERE YOU WILL FIND ENERGY FUTURES DOT ORG. EITHER ONE. TRY BOTH. THANK YOU. SAM EVANS-BROWN, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE CLEAN ENERGY. CLEAN ENERGY NEW HAMPSHIRE. THANK YOU. THANK YOU FRED. IF YOU MISSED ANY PART OF THIS BRIEFING ON ENERGY AND CHANGES IN PEAK ENERGY DEMAND, YOU CAN CHECK OUT

NH Business: Electricity demand in the 2030s will require “vast amounts of clean, reliable electricity.”

Updated: May 5, 2024, 7:03 a.m. EDT

Fred Kocher, NH Business host

Sam Evans Brown, executive director of Clean Energy NH, discusses the future of clean, reliable energy when energy needs are at their highest and how electric vehicles can impact those needs.

Sam Evans Brown, executive director of Clean Energy NH, discusses the future of clean, reliable energy when energy needs are at their highest and how electric vehicles can impact those needs.

Anna Harden

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