House Bill 315 raises the cap on net metering from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts, but only for arrays that are owned by “political subdivisions” in the state, like counties or municipalities. (Getty Images)
Former NHPR reporter Sam Evans-Brown has stepped into a leadership role at Clean Energy New Hampshire, one of the state’s most prominent clean energy advocacy organizations.
The nonprofit, which was previously led by Madeleine Mineau, is also involved in educational initiatives in the state. Mineau left the executive director role in June to take a job as chief operating officer of Essex Hydro Associates LLC in Boscawen. She began working for Clean Energy New Hampshire in 2018.
At NHPR, Evans-Brown covered energy and environmental issues for the past 10 years. While he started as a general assignment reporter, he gravitated toward stories about energy and was subsequently put on the environment beat.
He realized quickly that climate change was the biggest story he would cover, and as a coach for a local cross-country team, Evans-Brown said he’s long been “acutely aware of what the weather is doing.”
“I feel climate change in my bones,” he said. “And I’m concerned about it.”
Some of his favorite stories are examinations of energy policy, such as the podcasts Powerline and Windfall, a recently released series about offshore wind.
“When you get that luxury of just working on something until you feel like you know everything there is to know about it, it’s a pretty special thing,” he said.
From his initial interest in climate change to investigating the complex world of energy policy solutions, Evans-Brown was hooked.
“You could spend an entire lifetime thinking about how to solve these problems and the reasons why they haven’t been solved today, the systems of power that are in place,” he said.
Evans-Brown said he took the job as executive director at Clean Energy New Hampshire because of the organization’s reputation. It was a place where he could always turn to as a reporter for accurate information.
“It was really important to me to work for an organization where I felt I could be truthful,” he said.
Evans-Brown is looking to amplify the voices calling for action on climate change.
“Insofar as possible, to help Republicans sort of step forward and say, ‘Hey, here are the solutions that we are excited about’ and make it so that they are also participating in the debate in a more active way,” he said.
And he also wants the organization to involve low-income communities to a greater degree.
“For way, way too long, clean energy really has been a thing that wealthy, white liberals are excited about talking about, and I think that has harmed the movement,” Evans-Brown said.
He’s also thinking about ways to broaden the “suite of policy options that are being considered” in the Legislature.
The main challenge he sees is how polarized energy has become. But with renewable energy becoming cheaper, Evans-Brown expects the favorable economics to start changing some people’s minds.
Evans-Brown is a graduate of Bates College, where he studied politics and Spanish.
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