The 2nd annual New Hampshire Energy Week was marked last week with several very successful events across the Granite State in Keene, Dover, and Conchord.
CRES Forum was a proud partner organization and participant. The other partner organizations were the Nature Conservancy; NH Clean Tech Council; Environmental Defense Fund; Ceres; New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility; CDFA; New Hampshire Brewers Association, and the New Hampshire Municipal Association.
The Honorable Kelly Ayotte, CRES Forum’s senior advisor and a former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, chaired the Award Selection Committee and personally presented the awards to the winners in a ceremony at the end of the week, which included:
- Municipal Energy Champion: City of Claremont
- Business Energy Champion: Worthen Industries
- Legislative Energy Champion: NH State Representative Herb Richardson (R-Lancaster)
Other events included a panel discussion led by Maureen Smith of Orr & Reno’s environmental and energy practice groups dealt with energy investment and infrastructure. The panelists discussed a number of opportunities for investing in efficiency and clean energy projects throughout the state, and they stressed that if we truly want to diversify our energy supply, we need to update or replace our decades-old infrastructure to harness the power new technologies.
Another panel focused on clean tech and workforce development. Indeed, New Hampshire has to make sure it is not only dealing with today’s energy needs, but those in the future. Will Stewart, executive director of Stay Work Play, moderated the panel, which touched on the need for new initiatives in small-business innovation and education.
But without a doubt, the single biggest moment was at the Energy Breakfast on Thursday morning, which was attended by more than 300 people at the LEED-certified Grappone Conference Center in Concord.
During the breakfast, Governor Chris Sununu delivered a speech in which he announced that his administration will be unveiling a “New Hampshire First” energy plan which strives to balance energy innovation with consumer costs.
“For so long we’ve had this idea that – that either you’re all in on renewables or you’re all in on low rates,” he said. “That is old school thinking. We can have our cake and we can eat it too.”
In his speech, he highlighted investments in solar, wind, hydro and biomass power development, multi-state efforts like the Regional Green House Gas Initiative, and a $4 million pledge to building out our state’s electric vehicle charging network.
The Governor’s announcement was reported by New Hampshire Public Radio and will undoubtedly make headlines for months and years to come.
CRES Forum looks forward to next year’s New Hampshire Energy Week and to more collaboration during National Clean Energy Week, which will take place later this year from September 24th through 28th.