Right before the new year, North Carolina released a plan to reduce North Carolina’s carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050.
The plan includes steps to upgrade facilities to connect new solar power generation and increase energy efficiency as well as retire Duke’s last coal-fired power plants by 2035, which will not only reduce carbon emissions but major sources of toxic water pollution in the state.
“If you would have asked me like five years ago that North Carolina would be considering reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 and getting to net zero by 2050, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said David Rogers, the southeast deputy regional director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.
Some critics of the plan are concerned that it doesn’t necessarily prevent Duke from building new gas facilities or ensure the acceleration of renewable sources of energy.
Duke Energy released a statement in response to the plan, saying, “We believe this is a constructive outcome that advances our clean energy transition, supporting a diverse, ‘all of the above’ approach that is essential for long-term resource planning.”
The state’s Utilities Commission is required to review and adjust the carbon plan every two years.