Duke Energy’s options for reaching net-zero carbon by midcentury will look a lot different than those being pursued by utilities in the sun-soaked Western U.S., or the wind-rich Great Plains, or even those sharing the same Atlantic coastline. While most U.S. utilities have to plan for an electricity peak driven by summer air conditioning and cooling demand, Duke and other Southeastern utilities face an equally daunting winter peak driven by a reliance on electric heating and unpredictable cold snaps. To learn more, read How Duke’s Unique Energy Landscape Dictates its Path to Net Zero.”

Key Takeaways: 

  • Duke’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) presents six very different pathways toward greening its energy mix over the next 15 years, all of them reaching at least 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030. 
  • Pumped hydro storage is the most reliable long-duration storage available, and Duke is planning to upgrade its 1,000-megawatt Bad Creek facility to add 300 megawatts more of storage capacity over the next few years.
  • In other words, pumped storage is one of many examples of how decisions being made today will have major impacts on Duke’s decarbonization journey years down the line. 

Path to 100% Perspective:

Every power market is unique. But Path to 100% research shows that no matter the market, all transitions to decarbonized power systems require similar actions. These should be adapted to local conditions so that any country, state or community can develop its own Path to 100%.

Each path should start with a plan that has been modelled with substantial research that provides a sound basis for achievable goals and an optimal path to 100%.


Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash