Unfortunately, the NCUC gave Duke most of what it had proposed in its draft carbon plan: lots of new gas plants, a new generation of “small modular” nuclear reactors and a plan to convert its gas plants to burn hydrogen in the future (a technology that does not yet exist).
This happened despite a near-solid wall of opposition to Duke’s proposal, despite a plea by 45 scientists to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure and despite an alternative model proposed by other parties that would achieve carbon plan targets with no new gas and significantly more renewables, energy storage and energy efficiency programs.
The carbon plan will be renewed every two years, with the next update from Duke due in September 2023.
In 2021, HB951 instructed the NC Utilities Commission (NCUC) to publish a carbon plan for North Carolina that would reduce the state’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the electric power sector 70% from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
At the NCUC’s request, Duke Energy submitted a draft carbon plan in May 2022 that is heavy on fracked gas and expensive, unproven technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and small modular nuclear reactors.
People Power NC, a coalition including NC WARN, issued a report card giving Duke’s plan an F.
A group of clean energy groups submitted its own “no regrets” plan to the NCUC in July 2022 that retires coal-fired plants faster, adds no new gas-fired plants, and emphasizes energy-saving and distributed generation.
NC WARN, together with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg chapter of the NAACP, submitted comments and a report from engineer Bill Powers showing that Duke’s plan misleads the public and the NCUC in order to build dozens of new fracked gas units, and that the state can achieve the CO2 reduction target equitably by focusing on distributed solar plus storage, with no new gas. See all our carbon plan legal filings.
Thirty-three former officials of the US Environmental Protection Agency submitted comments arguing that Duke’s draft plan is short-sighted and inadequate, and that the NCUC should select a carbon plan with no new gas that instead emphasizes renewables and energy efficiency.
Hundreds of members of the public gave input in writing and in oral testimony.
People Power NC issued a report card for the NCUC’s Carbon Plan in January 2023, giving it a D-.
Today, People Power NC, a coalition of clean energy and social justice organizations, released a report card< assessing the state’s new carbon plan. SEE ALL Carbon Plan POSTS
The N.C. Utilities Commission’s first-ever plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by generating electricity in the state has been met with widespread criticism. SEE ALL Carbon Plan POSTS