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North Carolina Clean Path 2025: Achieving an Economical Clean Energy Future is an August 2017 report prepared for NC WARN by engineer Bill Powers. It is a strategy for North Carolina’s electricity supply system showing that local solar combined with battery storage can rapidly replace fossil fuels, save tens of billions of dollars and create thousands of jobs across the state.

Watch the 30-second TV ad at right in favor of clean, local solar power!

NC WARN is matching the report with an Action Plan so local governments can work with residents to make real their recent pledges to help slow the accelerating climate crisis. NC WARN calls on all civic-minded North Carolinians across the political spectrum to help move NC Clean Path 2025 into action. We’ll soon announce a series of webinars and other outreach tools.

Take Action!

1. Email Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good at and urge her to join this effort. Tell her: Duke Energy needs to help slow the climate crisis instead of making it worse by expanding the burning of fracked natural gas.

2. Join an action team

3. Donate $5 to help us run TV, radio & newspaper ads about the Clean Path

Learn More!

Full report

Executive Summary

Updates, including Clean Path 2025 progress reports and news affecting its implementation

Fact Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Action Plan for implementing NC Clean Path 2025

News release announcing the publication of the report

Media reports on this and other clean energy advances


Local governments can directly implement Clean Path programs, but we’re also urging them to press Duke Energy, the cooperatives, municipal utilities and Governor Cooper to join the effort. And we’re reaching out to scientists, civic leaders, news media and the public to foster an open, constructive discussion about moving quickly into the 21st Century on energy and climate.

We believe this report is a first for the nation and we’re urging other states to join the shift to local solar with storage – even as the Koch brothers and many utilities work vigorously to stifle the growth of renewables.

We can and must move quickly. The report shows that North Carolina has twice as much local solar potential as needed to retire all fossil fuel plants, and that local power lines can handle large flows of local solar at little additional cost. The only barrier to adoption of this plan is Duke Energy’s longstanding control over state government and public debate. Author Bill Powers emphasizes that there are no economic or technical barriers.

Specifically, NC Clean Path 2025 will:

  • Reduce power generated by coal- and natural gas-fired plants 57 percent by 2025.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation 100 percent by 2030. All coal-fired plants will be closed and gas-fired plants will be used only for backup supply.
  • Maintain the current growth rate, 1,000 megawatts per year, of large-scale solar in North Carolina, but build it on vacant urban and suburban land, and on brownfields.
  • Add 2,000 megawatts of solar power each year at homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings – and back it up with cost-effective battery storage, capitalizing on rapid progress by Tesla and other companies.
  • Create financing options for local solar power, battery storage, and efficiency upgrades that allow everyone to benefit without financial burden.
  • Accelerate energy-saving programs to reduce electricity usage 20 percent by 2025.
  • Expand demand response programs and energy efficiency upgrades to reduce peak summer cooling and peak winter heating loads 50 percent by 2025.
  • Create 16,000 good jobs across the state in the first three years.
  • Save billions more in avoided purchase of coal and natural gas.

NC Clean Path 2025 author Bill Powers has over 30 years’ experience in energy and environmental engineering. He wrote the 2012 strategic energy plan, Bay Area Smart Energy 2020, for the San Francisco Bay region, a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power consumption in the Bay Area region 60% by 2020. Powers has a strong Tar Heel pedigree, having earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Duke University and an M.P.H. in environmental sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.