Duke Energy’s Proposed Carbon Plan Falls Short of Public Interest
Statement from Vote Solar’s Senior Southeast Regional Director Lindsey Hallock
The draft carbon plan released by Duke Energy is a reminder that North Carolina’s clean energy transition is about more than simply getting to the finish line. Building an equitable, resilient carbon-free future requires intentionality – the “how” matters as much as the “what”. Vote Solar looks forward to digging into the details of the plan in the next few days but, at first glance, the draft does not reflect feedback that ratepayers and other stakeholders have communicated to Duke Energy throughout the process — that North Carolinians are ready for a fossil-free economy that benefits everyone.
We commend Duke for the plan’s proposed investments in solar + battery storage. However, each portfolio offered by the company includes investment in more fossil gas–a disappointing choice that ignores the negative impacts gas-powered generation has on North Carolina’s air quality, water quality, and residential electricity bills. By proposing additional gas, and therefore additional methane emissions, Duke is choosing to preserve the status quo, rather than use this opportunity to make North Carolina a national leader in emissions reduction, grid resilience, and energy independence.
At the end of the day, HB 951 made it clear that the carbon plan is the responsibility of the North Carolina Utilities Commission, not Duke Energy. We look forward to continued collaboration with our partners to engage our communities in the utility regulation process and push for a plan that serves the public interest.”
In October 2021, the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Cooper signed a new energy bill into law. The new law called on the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to develop a carbon plan for the state by the end of 2022 that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 70% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Duke Energy provides electricity to more than 2 million North Carolina families. Its draft plan will now be considered by the NCUC.