New Hampshire’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is intended to increase use of renewable resources in the state by establishing the minimum amount of renewable energy that the state’s electricity providers must sell in a given year. This legally-established renewable energy procurement goal gradually increases over time to meet the overall target of 24.8% renewable power by 2025.
The state profile below explores the design of this policy, highlighting the factors that influence the success of New Hampshire’s RPS goals and the tradeoffs inherent to it. Once you’re comfortable with the information on this page, you can evaluate the policy’s expected viability with the RPS Feasibility Calculator. You can also use the calculator to change the policy requirements, trajectory, cost cap, and more, to see how altering New Hampshire’s policy design affects its success.
- 24.8% of the state’s energy consumption must be from renewable sources by 2025, subject to the cost cap
- Carve-out for solar
- Implicit ‘cost cap’ defined by compliance payments
Carve-outs can create economic opportunities in the state by introducing new or promising technologies into the market. However, these standards limit the utilities’ ability to substitute between renewable energy sources, potentially increasing the cost of the policy. New Hampshire requires that, beginning in 2010, 0.04% of the annual RPS requirement be met through new solar sources. The carve-out ramps up to 0.3% of the annual requirement in 2014 and thereafter.
Compare the goal established in the RPS to what is being achieved.
The following chart compares the variety of sources currently used to generate New hampshire’s electricity. The color of each bar is indicative of the carbon intensity of each source.
Cost Cap Details
New Hampshire does not have an explicit cost cap. However, by allowing alternative compliance payments (ACPs), New Hampshire sets an effective cap on the premium a utility will be willing to pay for renewable energy. The RPS sets this cap at $55/MWh for Class I (see Legislation section for more details). Like some states, New Hampshire adjusts the cost of an ACP over time according to inflation. If the renewable energy premium exceeds this cap, the utility would prefer to meet the standard by making the lower cost alternative compliance payments.
Historic retail prices (¢ / kWh)
The above chart presents historical data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the price at which residential customers can purchase electricity. Typically, states set explicit cost caps relative to the retail price (as opposed to the lower wholesale price).
New Hampshire’s Electric Renewable Portfolio Standard requires that all electricity providers—excluding municipalities—deliver 24.8% renewable energy by 2025. The requirements are broken up into four Classes, each with specific technologies and individual compliance schedules, and alternative compliance payments. Class I comprises the majority of the RPS at 15% of the annual requirement by 2025. Falling within Class I, 2.6% must come from ‘useful thermal energy’ by 2025. The other three Classes are as follows: 0.3% of the annual requirement must be from Class II (new solar) by 2014; 8% from Class III (exiting biomass) by 2015; and 1.5% from Class IV (existing hydro) by 2015.
RPS Technical Details
(Class I) Wind, Hydrogen (derived from biomass or landfill gas), Solar, Solar-Thermal, Tidal and Wave Energy, Geothermal, Biomass, Biodiesel, Fuel Cells, Anaerobic Digestion
(Class II) Solar (New; installed after 2006)
(Class III) Biomass and Methane (Existing; installed before 2006, up to 25 MW)
(Class IV) Hydroelectric (Existing; installed before 2006, up to 5 MW)
|Geographic Eligibility||RECs must be from sources in, or delivered to, the New England control area; within ISO-New England and New England Power Pool (NEPOOL)|
|Percent of Total Load||98.2%|
|Technology Requirements||New Solar Electric—0.3% by 2014|
|Sectors||All sectors, excluding municipal providers|
|Penalty||The ACP schedule is Class-specific: Class I—$55/MWh; Class II—$55/MWh; Class III—$31.50; Class IV—$26.50. These are adjusted to the Consumer Price Index annually, and deposited into the state Renewable Energy Fund.|
Tools and other links
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) RPS data page—Datasets available for download in .xlsx format
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy Analysis Portal—Resources on renewable energy policies, and interactive web tools
- Energy Information Administration (EIA) U.S. Energy Mapping System—An interactive energy resource map with a myriad of data layers to explore
- DSIRE State RPS Page—Visit for detailed information on RPS and complete legislation
- U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)—State Profile—Access your state’s EERE page, and find information on renewable resources maps, energy statistics, and news