Duke Energy To Invest Big In Clean Energy As Part Of Emissions-Reduction Goal


Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy has established an aggressive goal to reduce carbon emissions 40% from 2005 levels by 2030, as well as invest $11 billion in renewables and natural gas, according to the company’s 2016 sustainability report.

Today, 38% of Duke Energy’s generated electricity comes from zero-emission sources, including wind, solar, nuclear and hydropower. In addition, natural gas provides 28%.

“More and more, we’re generating cleaner energy. We have retired older coal units and invested in natural gas generation and renewables,” the report says. “And we continue to operate our carbon-free nuclear plants.”

As a result of its system modernization, Duke Energy has reduced carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 29% since 2005. The company says its planned investments over the next decade will build on that progress and further reduce emissions.

In addition to the 40%-by-2030 goal, the company plans to cut its carbon intensity, meaning the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kilowatt-hour of energy produced, by 45%.

“We will meet these goals, in part, by investing $11 billion in natural gas and renewables over the next 10 years, as well as in the infrastructure necessary to supply our plants and customers with cleaner, low-cost fuel,” the report says.

“These investments complement our expanding renewable portfolio. We have spent more than $5 billion over the past 10 years in commercial renewables,” it adds.

Duke Energy says it is on track to meet its goal of owning or having under contract 8 GW of wind, solar or biomass capacity by 2020: At the end of last year, the company had 5.4 GW, which is 1 GW above the total from the year prior.

In addition, Duke Energy says it is on target to recycle 80% of its solid waste by 2018. Currently, the number stands at 76%.

Duke Energy notes that the price per kilowatt-hour of electricity in all six states the company serves retail electric customers remains lower than the national average.

Duke Energy’s electric utilities and infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The gas utilities and infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Lastly, its commercial renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the U.S.

“As technology and customers’ expectations evolve, Duke Energy is responding by investing in innovative new solutions to power the lives of our customers with reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy,” says Lynn Good, Duke Energy’s chairman, president and CEO. “How we generate energy is more important than ever before, and we’re making long-term investments that will deliver a lower-carbon future.”

The full sustainability report can be downloaded here.

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