NewEnergyNews: The First Big Utility Commits To Zero Emissons

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    Thursday, December 06, 2018

    The First Big Utility Commits To Zero Emissons

    For the first time, a major US utility has committed to 100% clean energy; Another sign that 100% clean energy is going viral.

    David Roberts, December 5, 2018 (VOX)

    “…Xcel Energy, one of the biggest utilities in the US, has committed to going completely carbon-free by 2050 (and 80 percent carbon-free by 2030)…It is the first major US utility to pledge to go completely carbon-free…This is industry-shaking news…Xcel is getting more ambitious because it’s in its political and economic interests to do so…[Its earlier goals to provide 55% New Energy and cut emissions 60% won it Utility Dive’s Utility of the Year Award for 2018. But the new goals [that go with its “Steel for Fuel” strategy] go much further, and they cover Xcel’s entire eight-state territory…

    …[New Energy is now often cheaper than the ongoing operating costs of existing coal plants and competing with natural gas. And New Energy is] on the rise in the West, popular with politicians, cities, corporations, and ordinary ratepayers…[Most importantly, regulated utilities like Xcel] make money by drawing a rate of return on [rate-based] investments in power infrastructure…[Xcel is shifting] from fuel (coal and natural gas) costs, which they make no money on, to investing in new renewable energy power plants, new batteries to store power and electric car chargers to help electrify the vehicle fleet, and tons of new transmission lines, much of which they can rate-base…Xcel [got] permission from regulators to depreciate lots of uneconomic old power assets (which activists have been hassling it about forever) and build, build, build a bunch of new stuff…[so it] stands to profit handsomely, and benefit politically, by giving its customers the clean energy they want…” click here for more

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