Electricity provider Duke Energy, one of the largest energy holding companies in the US announced today a new target to fully exit coal by 2035, as well as new plans to include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions in its 2050 net zero goals, as part of its efforts to expand its clean energy action plan.

The company stated that it is targeting energy generated from coal to represent less than 5% of total generation by 2030 before it fully exits coal.

Katherine Neebe, Duke Energy Chief Sustainability Officer, said:

“As one of America’s largest electric and gas utilities, we and many of our stakeholders share the view that we can take a leadership role in tackling the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our business and value chain. Policy changes and technological innovation are expected to play a key role in meeting these enhanced goals.”

Duke’s 2050 net zero targets have also been expanded, and now include emissions from the power purchased for resale, the procurement of fossil fuels used for the generation, and the electricity purchased for its own use in its electric business. For the natural gas business upstream methane and carbon emissions related to purchased gas and downstream carbon emissions from customers’ consumption have been added to the net zero target as well.

The company stated that it has already reduced emissions from electricity generation by 44% from 2005 levels and is now on pace to achieve its goals of at least 50% reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050 from electricity generation and net-zero methane emissions by 2030. 

Neebe added:

“The energy sector must transform for the future in a way that also benefits our society today. Achieving this vision will require us to transition to low- and zero-emissions fuel sources, invest in our communities and develop and prepare a diverse workforce. Taken together, these efforts will deliver long-term value for our stakeholders.”

Over the next months, Duke Energy plans to work to determine the emissions associated with the prioritized Scope 3 categories, followed by the identification of what actions to take over time to reduce these emissions.