New plan touts carbon cuts, adds more gas and nuclear
Duke Energy has said that it will submit a blanket request for Second License Extensions for all 11 reactors in its fleet, which would see these already aging, degrading and uneconomical plants operating out to 60 or even 80 years. The following is an analysis from the Environmental Working Group, issued as a September 2, 2020 press release, and an excerpt from their report.
Duke Energy says it will achieve “net zero” carbon pollution by 2050. But its new resource plan for the Carolinas almost certainly means it will continue to rely on fossil fuels and nuclear reactors as its dominant sources of energy.
On September 1, Duke – the largest investor-owned U.S. electric utility, with 7.7 million customers in six states – filed its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan, or IRP, with regulators in North and South Carolina. If in the wake of its recent cancellation of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Duke-watchers expected a turn away from natural gas, they were wrong.
The plan floated six different scenarios to reach “net zero” carbon, and all but one relies heavily on fracked natural gas. It confirmed that Duke will continue to give short shrift to wind power and is betting on the uncertain development of a new generation of small nuclear reactors.