Duke Energy’s Actions Matter More Than Its Words – NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Energy

Given Duke Energy’s track record and current actions, we have to look behind the curtain on its clean energy claims in the Carolinas Carbon Plan.[embedded content]Under North Carolina legislation (HB 951), the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) is required to finalize a carbon reduction plan by the end of 2022. That carbon plan must meet the legislative goal of reducing carbon emissions from electric generation in the state by 70 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and to net-zero emissions by 2050. This emissions reduction goal was the number one ask of all stakeholders emerging from the two-year Clean Energy Plan process. The NCUC has tasked Duke Energy with: (1) running a stakeholder process that includes at least three meetings; and (2) filing a proposed plan with the NCUC by May 16, 2022.HB 951 is the compromise legislation that was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper in October 2021. NRDC supported the legislation because it will make binding the governor’s Clean Energy Plan, which established targets of 70 percent reductions in power-sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. HB 951 also requires the NCUC to design and implement a plan to achieve those carbon pollution reduction goals. Past NRDC modeling, in the 2020 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) docket, shows that those goals are achievable without substantial new gas investments, meaning that the 70 percent emissions reduction mandate would effectively prevent any new gas builds. This is a much better situation than where we were during the 2018 Duke Energy IRP process, when the company was proposing an additional 9.6 gigawatts of new fracked gas generation in North Carolina.[i] Moreover, the passage of HB 951 also signals that bipartisan progress on climate policy is po …

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