Duke Sticks to Plan to Double Renewables Base Despite Questions Over Power Demand

At-a-Glance:

Duke Energy still intends to double its renewable energy base from 8 gigawatts to 16 gigawatts by 2025, despite economic hardship caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Duke’s long-term plan is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, starting with a target of 50 percent greenhouse gas reductions by 2030. To learn more, read “Duke Sticks to Plan to Double Renewables Base Despite Questions Over Power Demand.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Duke is among the largest U.S. power utilities, with 7.4 million electric and 1.4 million natural gas customers across six states in the Southeast and Midwest.
  • Renewables only account for 5 percent of Duke’s 51 gigawatts of generating capacity today, but its solar and wind portfolio has grown in recent years.
  • Duke’s renewable energy business reported income of $57 million in the first quarter, a big jump from $13 million in the same quarter last year. 
  • Duke plans to invest $56 billion in capital infrastructure over the next five years, which includes major grid investments.

Path to 100% Perspective:

Duke’s decision to continue to double its renewable energy base by 2023 despite recent difficulties is a smart choice for the utility group to continue on its path toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Part of the utility group’s longer-term decarbonization plan includes replacing its traditional coal plants with natural gas, extending the life of its nuclear power plants and investing more in energy storage — steps in the right direction for such a major power provider.