New Hampshire Climate Action (of the League of Conservation Voters) held a first NH Innovation Conference for Climate Solutions via Zoom on February 24. It was well organized by Seth Paulson-Sacks of Climate Action. Panelists were NH State Senator Tom Sherman, ReVision Energy’s Kimberly Quirk, University of New Hampshire’s Clay Mitchell, and me, of PlugOut Power.
While every one of the panelists agreed that New Hampshire was well behind our neighboring states in promoting a sustainable economy, all had practical ideas and suggestions on how to make progress. All agreed that solutions would be intertwined with state government, the Public Utilities Commission and the utilities.
Among the positive developments, State Senator Tom Sherman said that Governor Sununu has recommended opening a State Office of Energy to consolidate and give momentum to state energy plans. Senator Sherman also expressed some optimism that the five-megawatt municipal solar limit could pass. He suggested that more aggressive policies coming from the new administration would push NH to become more progressive toward sustainable policies.
Kimberly Quirk discussed the importance that batteries will play in the energy economy and how we need to pursue multiple energy and thermal solutions.
Clay Mitchell brought out the need for higher level thinking about energy markets, regulation, and NH’s policies. And he pointed out the fast-coming need for more renewables, batteries, and smarter grids.
Transportation was my topic, and I talked about the need for more electric vehicles (EVs) and consequently my recommendation to join the New England Zero Emission Vehicles Mandate coalition. I also talked about nurturing small companies with policies, funding, and procurement practices. Rebuilding the Incubators and Investor networks are among the most needed resources for innovation.
I sincerely hope the NH Innovation Conference for Climate Solutions turns into a series. It could be a wonderful forum in which to get discussions going on NH Sustainability Policies and Projects.
Randy Bryan is one of the co-founders of Drive Electric NH. Bryan has been an advocate for electric cars since 2006. His company, PlugOut Power (formerly ConVerdant Vehicles), has converted vehicles to plug-in hybrids and currently develops and sells inverters that turn electrified cars into emergency generators.