New Hampshire Energy Profile

Nicholas Gray
December 11, 2015

Submitted as coursework for PH240, Stanford University, Fall 2015

NH Electricity Generation

Energy Source Energy Production (Trillion BTU)
Nuclear 37.4 55.4%
Natural Gas 14.0 20.8%
Coal 5.0 7.4%
Hydro 4.9 7.2%
Biomass 4.5 6.6%
Wind 1.3 2.0%
Petroleum 0.4 0.5%
Total 67.5 100%
Table 1: 2013 New Hampshire electricity generation by source. [1]

In 2013, New Hampshire produced 67.5 trillion BTU of electricity, approximately 0.2% of that generated nationwide. More than half of New Hampshire's electricity produced is done so at NextEra Energy's Seabrook Station, the largest single electricity-generating unit and the second largest nuclear power plant in New England. Five smaller plants burn natural gas, which accounts for thirty percent of electricity generation, in addition to biomass, coal, and small amounts of petroleum. New Hampshire does not produce or refine any fossil fuels. Rather, it imports natural gas via pipeline from Maine, Massachusetts, and Canada and receives petroleum and coal via barge and rail. A full breakdown of New Hampshire's electricity generation by source is presented to the right. [1]

There are currently vigorous efforts being made to increase New Hampshire's non-nuclear renewable energy production. About one sixth of state's electricity generation is derived from renewable resources besides nuclear power, the vast majority of which is from biomass and hydropower. New Hampshire has committed to a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that mandates that 24.8% of its energy in 2025 originates from non-nuclear renewable sources. Because the RPS requires that two-thirds of the renewable energy is generated in facilities built in 2006 or later, this will involve replacing aging biomass and hydropower facilities with new ones as most of those existing are several decades old. There is also interest in expanding the state's wind power infrastructure, which currently consists of only three wind farms and 170 MW of generating capacity. New Hampshire has wind potential in its White Mountains and along its 18-mile coast, though many local residents vehemently oppose wind projects due to their harm to natural aesthetics. [1]

NH Energy Consumption

Energy Source Energy Consumption (Trillion BTU)
Nuclear 114.2 37.7%
Motor Gasoline 79.2 26.2%
Natural Gas 55.6 18.4%
Biomass 40.3 13.3%
Distillate Fuel Oil 37.6 12.4%
Coal 16.8 5.6%
Liquefied Petroleum Gas 16.5 5.5%
Hydro 13.6 4.5%
Other Petroleum 4.0 1.3%
Other Renewables 4.0 1.3%
Residual Fuel 2.0 0.7%
Jet Fuel 1.9 0.6%
Net Interstate Electricity Flow -83.0 -27.4%
Total 302.8 100%
Table 2: 2013 New Hampshire energy consumption by source. [2]

New Hampshire has low energy consumption relative to the rest of the United States. In 2013, it consumed 302.7 trillion BTU and approximately 229 million BTU on a per capita basis, which ranked 42nd among the fifty U.S. states. Of that energy consumption, 99.4 trillion BTU (32.8%), 92.8 trillion BTU (30.7%), 70.4 trillion BTU (23.3%), and 40.1 trillion BTU (13.2%) were attributable to the transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, respectively. A full breakdown of New Hampshire's energy consumption by source is presented to the left. [2]

Although New Hampshire burns virtually no oil for purposes of electricity generation, its per capita petroleum consumption is one of the highest in the United States. In fact, the state's many uses for petroleum combined for 46.6% of energy consumption in 2013, more than any other primary energy source. This is largely due to state resident's high dependence on heating oil in the cold winter months. In 2013, almost half of New Hampshire households, 46.1%, used petroleum-based fuel oil as their primary source of home heating and 14.7% used liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), two sources that heat less than 10% of households nationwide. Natural gas, which heats about half of U.S. homes, constitutes less than a fifth of New Hampshire's heating source portfolio as the state's poor pipeline infrastructure does not reach most of the state's rural areas. As is the case across the United States, New Hampshire's transportation sector consumes more petroleum than all others. [1]

ISO New England

The bulk electric power generation and transmission system in New Hampshire is operated by ISO New England, an independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that serves all six New England states. Created in 1997 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to replace the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), ISO New England ensures that New England's daily electricity demand is satisfied, oversees fair administration of the region's wholesale electricity markets, and plans power infrastructure projects. Equipped with 350 generating sites, 31 GW of generating capacity, and 8,500 miles of high voltage transmission lines, it serves a total population of 14 million across 6.5 million households. Thirteen interconnections to power systems and in New York and Eastern Canada enable electricity imports, which accounted for 16% percent of New England electricity consumption in 2014. ISO New England is headquartered in Holyoke, Massachusetts. [3]

Regional Power Industry Trends

Since its formation, New England has witnessed a regional shift from coal- and oil-fired power generation to that of natural gas. From to 2000 to 2014, natural gas's share of New England's power generation increased from 15% to 44%, meanwhile the shares for coal and oil declined from 18% to 5% and 22% to 1%, respectively. This transition from coal and oil to natural gas has resulted in a 66% decrease in NOx emissions, a 91% decrease in SO2 emissions, and a 23% decrease in CO2 emissions. New England still possesses 10 GW of coal- and oil-fired power generating capacity, about 30% of total capacity, but it is typically only deployed during times of peak demand. In collaboration with power developers, ISO New England has announced plans to retire 8 GW of this coal- and oil-fired capacity by 2020 and replace it with roughly 5.5 GW of natural gas-fired capacity and 4 GW of wind power. [3]

© Nicholas Gray. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] "Electric Power Annual 2013," U.S. Energy Information Administration, March 2015.

[2] "State Energy Consumption Estimates: 1960 Through 2013," U.S. Energy Information Administration, DOE/EIA-0214(2013), July 2015.

[3] "2015 Regional Electricity Outlook," ISO New England, January 2015.