Enviro. and justice orgs find major flaws in Duke’s energy plans
Raleigh, NC — Appalachian Voices, Clean Air Carolina, Conservation Voters of South Carolina, MountainTrue, NC WARN, North Carolina Justice Center, North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, Vote Solar, North Carolina Conservation Network reacted to Duke Energy’s resource plans today, stating that the plans fail on multiple fronts including affordability, consumer protection, grid modernization, resiliency, and climate.
On September 1, Duke Energy Progress and Duke Energy Carolinas issued six options for their biennial 15-year energy plans (Integrated Resource Plans or IRPs). These groups were part of a coalition that issued 10 Principles that Duke should follow to create a plan in the public interest. After an initial review of the documents provided, these groups found that Duke’s plans are not in the public interest. The coalition behind the 10 Principles is currently evaluating the IRPs against the principles.
“We need to do better to reduce the energy burden of everyday people in North and South Carolina, especially right now in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis,” said Josh McClenney of Appalachian Voices. “Duke makes no attempt to keep costs low for ratepayers in this plan, and ignores no-brainer efficiency measures that would benefit low-moderate income customers.”
“Rather than living up to their stated climate goals and leading the way to a cleaner future for North Carolina, Duke Energy is abdicating that leadership with the IRP they’ve released,” said Joel Porter, Policy Manager with Clean Air Carolina. “They are hiding behind a curtain of secrecy by failing to disclose fuel costs and favoring high-polluting, capital intensive projects over investments in cleaner energy and cost reduction measures.”
“The science is clear that we must activate bold renewable energy solutions to avert the worst impacts of climate change for North Carolina’s communities and environment,” said Eliza Stokes of MountainTrue. “The wildfires and bright orange skies on the West Coast are a sobering reminder that devastating impacts of climate change are already happening. It is urgent that Duke Energy gets serious about using their power to reach 100% renewable energy in North Carolina in the time frame that climate science requires.”
“It is imperative the IRP be designed to achieve energy and cost saving for low income communities,” said Claire Williamson of the North Carolina Justice Center. “Duke’s plan doesn’t do that.”
“By building new gas assets, Duke continues to fuel the market for fracked gas, which is a major driver of climate change due to the super-potent methane that is vented into the air from the wellhead to the power plant,” said Jim Warren, Executive Director of NC WARN. “Duke is defying the climate scientists by planning a huge amount of new fossil fuel use instead of shifting to more affordable renewables-plus-storage.”
“Duke’s IRP outlines six options, but almost all of them continue Duke’s plan to expand their dependence on polluting gas. We know that by investing in renewable energy a grid that is both cleaner and cheaper is possible,” said Tyler Fitch, Regulatory Manager at Vote Solar. “Duke is setting up a false dichotomy between keeping rates low and achieving climate goals. The truth is that Carolina ratepayers can and should have both.”
Learn more at www.dukesenergyplan.org