Duke Energy expands clean energy action plan

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  • Less than 5% of energy from coal by 2030, full exit by 2035.1

  • Expands net-zero goals to include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy is taking additional steps toward action on climate change while maintaining its commitment to reliable, accessible and affordable energy for customers and communities. This includes:

  • Targeting energy generated from coal to represent less than 5% of total generation by 2030 and to fully exit coal by 2035 as part of the largest planned coal fleet retirement in the industry.
  • Expanding its 2050 net-zero goals to now include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions.
    • In its electric business, the company’s net-zero goal will include greenhouse gas emissions from the power it purchases for resale, from the procurement of fossil fuels used for generation and from the electricity purchased for its own use.
    • For the natural gas business, it means adding a new net-zero by 2050 goal that includes upstream methane and carbon emissions related to purchased gas and downstream carbon emissions from customers’ consumption.

Already, the company has reduced Scope 1 carbon emissions from electricity generation by 44% from 2005 levels, the equivalent of removing 13 million vehicles from the road. And it is on pace to achieve its goals of at least 50% reduction by 2030 and net-zero by 2050 from electricity generation and net-zero methane emissions by 2030. Actions include:

  • Retired 56 coal units, representing approximately 7,500 megawatts since 2010.
  • Filed integrated resource plans with preferred scenarios that support exiting coal generation by 2035.
  • Partnered with Accenture and Microsoft on a unique satellite leak detection platform designed to measure actual baseline methane emissions from natural gas distribution systems.

“As one of America’s largest electric and gas utilities, we and many of our stakeholders share the view that we can take a leadership role in tackling the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our business and value chain,” said Duke Energy Chief Sustainability Officer Katherine Neebe. “Policy changes and technological innovation are expected to play a key role in meeting these enhanced goals.”

The first step in this leadership pathway is measurement. In the company’s Sustainability Report, it discloses Scope 1, 2 and some Scope 3 emissions. Over the coming months, the company will work to determine the emissions associated with the priortized Scope 3 categories. The second step will be to identify what actions the company can take over time to reduce these emissions.

“The energy sector must transform for the future in a way that also benefits our society today,” said Neebe. “Achieving this vision will require us to transition to low- and zero-emissions fuel sources, invest in our communities and develop and prepare a diverse workforce. Taken together, these efforts will deliver long-term value for our stakeholders.”

Duke Energy will be transparent about its progress and what it can achieve. The company will share more details during its ESG Investor Day later this year.

Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

  • Scope 1 are direct emissions from the company, such as the power the company generates and its fleet of vehicles.
  • Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from power the company purchases from others to use in its facilities.
  • Scope 3 includes indirect emissions that arise from others in the company’s value chain.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage, and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

1. Subject to regulatory approvals. Contemplates retiring Edwardsport coal gasifiers by 2035 or adding carbon capture utilization and storage to reduce carbon emissions.

Media contact: Shawna Berger
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_ShawnaB