Duke Energy CEO Says Company Wants 'Net-Zero' Carbon Emissions By 2050

Sep 18, 2019
Originally published on September 18, 2019 6:39 am

Duke Energy says it wants to cut its carbon emissions from electricity generation in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Charlotte-based energy giant announced the plan Tuesday. In 2017, Duke set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, but it says low natural gas prices and lowered costs for renewables and storage have prompted a more ambitious target.

Duke says it can get "significant reductions" by 2050 with existing technology, but it will take advances in technology to hit the goal by 2050. 

“A diverse mix of renewables, nuclear, natural gas, hydro and energy efficiency are all part of this vision, and we’ll take advantage of economical solutions to continue that progress," Lynn Good, Duke's, president and CEO, said Tuesday in a news release. "In the longer-term, innovation and new technologies will be critical to a net-zero carbon future.”

The company says it plans to double solar, wind and other renewables by 2025, expand energy storage and modernize its electric grid, among other modifications to achieve the goal. It also plans to advocate for new policies on cleaner-energy technology and innovation.

Duke says it's reduced its carbon emissions by 31% since 2005. The company says it will gradually phase out coal generation on different timelines in the states where it operates.

Environmental groups including the Sierra Club and N.C. WARN said Duke's new commitment doesn't go far enough. They want Duke to end coal-fired energy production sooner and to scale back plans to convert more production to gas.

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