The New Hampshire Department of Energy’s new 10-year energy strategy, as in past years, says that depending on out-of-state companies to maximize their profits – a.k.a., “let the market do it” – will somehow result in cheap electricity and gas for in-state customers. It also, as this article in Energy News Network notes, repeatedly suggests that New Hampshire ratepayers will suffer as a result of other states’ aggressive procurements of offshore wind, solar and other sources of renewable power.
That is, of course, backwards, since solar and wind power is becoming cheaper than fossil-fuel power. But being wrong never got in the way of the “blame everybody else” policy that weak politicians love.
“All the other states in New England have pretty robust energy efficiency programs,” Krakoff said. “That’s going to continue to reduce energy use in those states, and New Hampshire’s share of regional grid costs is going to rise.”
The ideological driver of the “just let the unmoderated market solve everything” belief is called free market fundamentalism, and it is a radical, incorrect opinion (merchantsofdoubt.org). It is heavily promoted by the major polluters, such as big fossil fuel industry players (eg Koch Industries). One result is continued inaction to address climate pollution, leading to continued dependence on using fossil fuels. Ironically and predictably, our dependence on fossil fuels is precisely why NH energy prices are so high now. Let’s plan ahead for next time by investing in energy efficiency and accelerating the state’s transition to clean energy solutions.