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Duke Energy To Invest $36B In Renewables, Grid Modernization

Solar panel

One of the largest U.S. energy holding companies, Duke Energy, plans to invest US$36 billion to expand its renewables and natural gas power generation and to modernize the electric grid as part of efforts to cut emissions.

In its new Climate Report, North Carolina-based Duke Energy outlined steps to cut emissions, mitigate risks from climate change, and plan for a low-carbon future.

As part of these efforts, Duke Energy—which serves 7.5 million customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest—plans to invest US$25 billion between 2017 and 2026 to modernize the electric grid to create a more resilient and smart grid to enable more renewables, and to protect electric lines against extreme weather.

Duke Energy will spend another US$11 billion between 2017 and 2026 to expand renewables and natural gas power generation, and those investments will go to new natural gas-fired, wind, and solar generation.

The company also plans to continue investment in its nuclear power generation and is evaluating the possibility of extending nuclear operating licenses.

By 2030, Duke Energy expects more than 80 percent of its generation mix to come from zero and lower CO2-emitting sources.

Apart from investing in new cleaner power generation, the company expects to achieve this goal by cutting the share of coal in its generation capacity by half, to 16 percent by 2030. Under a ‘2-degree scenario’ in its Climate Report, Duke Energy would phase out coal completely by 2050, reducing its carbon emissions to nearly three-quarters below 2005 levels.

Related: An Innovative Solution To Solar's Biggest Problem

Duke Energy’s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 is consistent with a pathway to achieve a science-based 2-degree target, it said.

“Duke Energy is building a smarter, cleaner energy future for our customers and communities by investing in new technologies to modernize and diversify our system,” Lynn Good, Duke Energy’s chairman, president and CEO, said in the company statement.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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