“…The Task Force recommends that New Hampshire strive to
achieve a long-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of
80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050…”
Is it any wonder that the New Hampshire Climate Change Policy Task Force recommended 67 separate actions as a means toward achieving its aggressive goal to significantly reduce emissions of carbon? The fact is that there is no one single solution to the challenge.
The Plan’s recommendations run the gamut – from honing energy efficiency programs, to promoting stricter fuel economy standards.
One action of the 67 is particularly relevant to The Northern Pass project:
Enable Importation of Canadian Hydro and Wind Generation
“…To the extent that it reduces or does not raise electricity rates to the consumer, high voltage transmission lines should be built to import clean power generated from Canadian hydro and wind sources as a complementary policy to developing non-CO2-emitting generation in New Hampshire. Canada is developing vast new hydro and wind generation resources, which are greater than their local needs. This creates an opportunity for New Hampshire and the entire Northeast to obtain clean power…”
The fact is, there is little debate in New Hampshire or elsewhere on whether or not hydropower from Canada will result in reduced carbon emissions. It will. The challenge is over how to import such energy; how to transmit that low carbon energy in a manner that makes sense from both an economic and engineering perspective – and, that also is respectful of New Hampshire’s environment and natural landscape.
That is why we found it surprising that the Conservation Law Foundation would expend resources to purchase a study challenging the total carbon reduction that may be achieved when The Northern Pass is complete.
It is ironic, too, in that the developers of the CLF study, Synapse Energy, is the same firm that touted a similar hydropower project as a replacement for the energy produced by a nuclear power plant – which emits zero carbon:
“…(T)he Champlain Hudson Power Express … would connect Quebec to New York City. It will bring a significant amount of renewable generation directly to New York City…”
Indian Point Energy Center Nuclear Plant Retirement Analysis
Synapse Energy Economics, Inc, Oct. 2011
We want to assure the CLF that we share its interest and commitment to protecting and improving New England’s environment. In keeping with the NH Climate Action Plan, we believe that The Northern Pass can be an effective part of a comprehensive overall strategy to reduce emissions of carbon.