Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress today filed their 2020 Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs), which outline a range of options to achieve varying levels of carbon reduction, including for the first time potential pathways to achieve up to 70% carbon emissions reduction with policy and technology advancements. Aggressive carbon reduction targets are achievable with investments in solar, wind, and energy storage. Offshore wind, advanced nuclear and other technologies also will play a role as they become available.
Duke Energy engaged stakeholders, such as business customers, consumer advocacy and environmental groups, in North Carolina and South Carolina over a six-month period to listen and solicit input to inform the planning process.
The 2020 IRPs each present six potential pathways within the 15-year planning horizon that evaluate different possible resource portfolios. Each pathway keeps Duke Energy on a trajectory to meet its near-term carbon reduction goal of at least 50% by 2030 and long-term goal of net-zero by 2050 in the Carolinas, while exploring accelerated coal retirement options, significant increases in renewables, including onshore and offshore wind, and further integration and development of new technologies, among other scenarios.
The plans demonstrate the valuable role nuclear and natural gas can play as part of a balanced portfolio. The plans also underscores the energy grid improvements that will be required to maintain reliability for customers, while adding the extensive renewables and energy storage needed to achieve these various goals.
The scenario analyses included in the IRPs provide a comparison of system costs, estimated customer bill impacts and varying levels of carbon reduction to inform regulators’ decisions and to inform future discussions about public policy. Collaboration with stakeholders, continued investment in grid improvements and the advancement of new, innovative technologies will ultimately guide the pace of energy transition in the Carolinas.