Duke carbon plan headed for public hearing
The North Carolina Utilities Commission is hosting a series of hearings this summer to take public input on the draft carbon plan that Duke Energy filed May 16. Hearing opportunities include an in-person hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at the Buncombe County Courthouse in Asheville, and virtual hearings at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, via Webex.
The plan, completed in response to the passage of H.B. 951, which Gov. Roy Cooper signed on Oct. 13, 2021, aims to achieve a 70% reduction from 2005 levels in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The law limits the applicability of this requirement to Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas and directs the Utilities Commission to develop a plan to achieve these reductions by Dec. 31, 2022. The plan is to be reviewed every two years thereafter.
Duke Energy hailed its plan as a triumph of collaboration, emphasizing the more than 500 people representing more than 300 organizations who participated in the stakeholder engagement process. By 2035, the plan calls for a three-fold increase in solar energy, diversification of renewables with wind resources, growing energy storage from 3,700 to 5,900 megawatts to support renewables, and coal and natural gas elimination over time.
However, environmental groups, including MountainTrue, Creation Care Alliance, N.C. Interfaith Power and Light and The Sierra Club want to see a stronger decarbonization plan. According to MountainTrue’s Central Regional Director Gray Jernigan, the plan relies too heavily on “unproven” technologies like small modular nuclear reactors, proposes new natural gas plants and fails to use cost assumptions that reflect the market realities of the affordability of renewable energy compared to gas.
Read Duke’s proposed carbon plan at duke-energy.com/our-company/about-us/carolinas-carbon-plan. For more about the approval process and instructions for participating in the hearings, visit ncuc.net/consumer/carbonplan.html.
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Again I ask these so called environmental groups, what has the world's biggest polluters doing or plan to do to eliminate this 'decarbonization' of the environment? I'm talking about such nations as India and China.