Duke Energy to spend billions of dollars to slash emissions

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Top US electric power company Duke Energy has announced spending billions of dollars over the next decade to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its operations.

The company now plans to increase its projected capital spending by $2bn to $58bn for the period from 2020 to 2024.

In the following five-year period, the capital spending is projected to expected to be in the range of $65bn to $75bn.

The new investments will be made in retiring old coal plants and replacing them with more solar and wind power projects.

Duke Energy’s new plans comes in the wake of intensifying pressure from Democratic politicians and activist investors on US power producing companies to cut emissions as they account for a significant impact on the environment.

“If you’re going to pursue the more aggressive carbon-reduction targets, you’re going to retire coal earlier, you’re going to be replacing it earlier with renewables, batteries, storage etcetera,” said Duke Chief Financial Officer Steve Young in an interview to Reuters.

“That pushes up the capital profile.”

Duke Energy aims to reach its net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Young told the news agency that accelerated technical advances are needed to reach the 2035 timeframe proposed by US presidential candidate Joe Biden.

in August, Duke Energy Florida announced plans to add 30MW of battery energy storage capacity to improve critical services during outages.

The three energy storage sites are aimed at providing support public safety during significant weather events. They will be located in Highlands County, Pinellas County and Alachua County.