Biomass Electricity Generation in New Hampshire

PRS Briefs
Wednesday, May 10, 2023

In a world increasingly impacted by warming temperatures and climate change, utility companies have been working to develop new forms of renewable energy that do not emit greenhouse gases. In heavily forested areas, such as New Hampshire, wood may be a viable alternative to fossil fuels for electricity generation. Thus, biomass could serve as a potential bridge fuel for the transition between carbon-intensive forms of energy, such as coal and oil, and renewables.

We decided to perform an economic analysis of case studies in our research. By extracting data from wood power plants in these areas, as well as from national and New Hampshire sources, we hoped to be able to find a cost estimate to operate plants in the state. Although we were unable to collect enough data to calculate a levelized cost of energy, the most accurate method of determining feasibility, we were able to compare fuel costs, which is one of the most influential factors in determining the ultimate cost of energy. Through our research, we determined that without any subsidies, biomass is not only unlikely to be cost-competitive with other energy sources, but it is also unlikely to be profitable.