NC WARN and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a legal challenge to Duke Energy’s plan to build scores of gas-fired power plants in the Carolinas even though huge amounts of excess generation already sit unused even during the worst winter weather.
Duke's 15-Year Plan
Duke Energy’s Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) are the planning documents the corporation must submit to the NC Utilities Commission. From 2013 to 2015, NC WARN published A Responsible Energy Future for North Carolina, which presented a realistic, clean alternative to Duke Energy’s IRPs. In 2017, we ramped up our arguments by asking engineer Bill Powers to analyze the state’s electricity generation and propose a cleaner path. Learn more about Bill’s NC Clean Path 2025 report. We continue to argue at the Utilities Commission against Duke’s IRPs, which call for continued burning of climate-killing fossil fuels into the foreseeable future.
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Critics say that Duke’s plan for the next 15 years is heading in the wrong direction. Climate and Energy Watchdog Jim Warren, who heads NC WARN calls Duke’s utility plan “Ruinous.”
A coalition of over a dozen Carolina-based and national clean energy and environmental justice nonprofit organizations issued a report card that finds Duke Energy Carolinas’ and Duke Energy Progress’ 2020 Integrated Resource Plans fall short of the coalition’s principles for a plan in the public interest.
A coalition of public interest, environmental and economic justice organizations will convene the first-ever hearing to examine Duke Energy’s policies and practices, which have polluted and financially punished its low-income ratepayers and communities of color throughout its vast six-state service area.
Despite “climate plan” and greenwashing TV ads, 15-year Carolinas plan leaves Duke a national laggard on cheaper renewable power. In the Carolinas, Duke plans to greatly expand its burning of fracked gas – and expand coal use – even as dozens of its gas units sit totally unused, while continuing to limit the growth of cheaper renewable power.
“Net-zero” goals proliferate, but speed, integrity of commitments varies greatly. The country’s top emitting utilities are on decarbonization pathways that are too slow to meet the climate goals set forth by President-Elect Joseph Biden.
Op-Ed by Drew Shindell and Jim Warren. Reducing methane emissions is crucial for limiting climate change in the near term. Doing so can provide vital benefits, including fewer people dying from air pollution and heat waves and harmed by powerful storms and wildfires. The climate crisis demands that we stop building fossil fuel infrastructure immediately.
Rita Leadem with the environmental group NC Warn said many of the grid upgrades are unnecessary and that Duke should invest more in solar energy. “The smarter investment at this time would really be in the clean energy resources, backed up with battery storage, that would provide the resiliency that we need and really pave the way forward,” she said.
As a long-awaited hearing begins next Monday, attorneys for NC WARN and allies will firmly oppose Duke Energy’s request for yet another electricity rate hike even as the Utilities Commission’s Public Staff and other parties recently announced settlements with Duke on portions of the rate request.
See coverage by WFAE