Today, the term decarburization seems to be used often. For the power industry, it refers to the shift of power generation resources from heavy carbon coal to carbon-free nuclear or renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and hydropower. Many politicians advocate clean energy programs, but not just lawmakers advocating decarbonization, as power companies are setting their own positive goals.
The three largest electricity companies in the US Duke Energy, American Electric Power (AEP) and Xcel Energy, belonging to the third, fourth and sixth largest companies, respectively, relying on market capitalization of the TD Ameritrade power utility, set industry-wide net zero carbon targets electricity production by 2050. Some other large utilities have similar zero targets. According to the market value of TD Ameritrade Power Company, the three largest US energy companies Duke Energy, American Electric Power (AEP) and Xcel Energy rank third, fourth and sixth, respectively. The collapse of ambitious industrial enterprises set ambitious goals to achieve zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. Several other large utilities have set similar goals with zero net.
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke Energy has a large staff of 3.4 million retail electricity consumers. Goode noted that North Carolina ranks second in the country for installed solar power after California, and it is the largest solar state in Duke Energy. In July, the company announced the ownership of 40 solar installations in North Carolina, including the Conetoe 80 MW solar installation in Edgecomb County. 65 MW Warsaw solar installation in Duplin County and Monroe 60 MW solar installation in Union County. The solar portfolio, owned and operated by Duke Energy, includes nearly 70 facilities in 10 states in the United States with a capacity of 1.1 GW. The company is also one of the country’s largest solar buyers. Currently, she buys more than 3 GW of capacity in the state that serves retail customers. In total, owned and purchased RES 4 GW accounted for more than 9% of Duke Energy’s power generation.
Xcel Energy’s climate modeling experts have hired experts to evaluate the company’s goals for reduction and to better understand how its vision relates to global temperature targets. In February, Xcel Energy published a 28-page report detailing carbon-free plans for the future. However, this year, the company not only started decarburizing its generating assets, but also significantly reduced emissions in the long run.
Xcel Energy reported that carbon emissions for the company as a whole in 2018 were 38% lower than 2005 levels. Although solar is a part of Minneapolis, a decarbonisation strategy for the Minnesota headquarters, its territory is better suited to wind power production, and it is here that the company focuses its efforts. By the end of 2021, Xcel Energy plans to increase its wind farm portfolio by 55%. In seven states, it will or will build 12 new wind farms, adding nearly 3,700 MW of wind power to its system. The company noted that advanced turbine technology has led to lower wind costs. Given current low prices and affordable tax credits, Xcel Energy believes that now is the time to invest in the wind, providing customers with affordable clean energy for many years to come. When new renewable generations are added, Xcel Energy will remove existing coal resources. According to plans currently approved, the company has stated that from 2005 to 2027, 23 coal units will be decommissioned, which is about 50% of the energy produced from Xcel Energy-owned coal.
The AEP program, like its counterparts including wind and solar, has made great strides. AEP is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio and is headquartered in 11 states, covering approximately 200,000 square miles. The company has historically been a heavy coal industry. By 2005, 70% of its capacity was coal. Coal accounts for 46% of AEP’s energy production this year. By 2030, this proportion is expected to fall to 27%. During the same period, hydropower, wind, solar and pump storage are expected to increase tenfold and reach 40%. Part of the company’s clean energy strategy is to add up to 5,050 MW of new wind and installup to 3,766 MW of solar capacity by 2030. It also plans to invest $2.2 billion in contracted renewables by 2023. A portion of that investment was made in April when AEP’s competitive renewable energy subsidiary, AEP Clean Energy Resources, completed the purchase of Sempra Renewables LLC and its 724 MW of operating wind generation and battery assets for approximately $1.05 billion. The agreement included all or part of seven wind farms in seven states, making AEP one of the largest utility owners in competitive wind projects. In July, the company added more wind power by acquiring 75% (227 MW) of the East Wind Project in Santa Rita, Texas.
After all, it seems that decarbonisation becomes a business choice, not a regulatory or political decision that coupled with the benefits of corporate public relations, they seem to believe that renewable energy is competitive in today’s market, and leading companies are working to decarbonize their asset portfolios.