Xcel Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: XEL) is aiming to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its natural gas business by 2050, a goal that coincides with the utility’s plans, announced in 2018, to provide 100% carbon-free electricity to customers by the same year.
With climate change representing an increasingly dire threat, Xcel plans to reduce methane emissions related to its natural gas business by “purchasing natural gas only from suppliers with certified low emissions and continuing to improve its natural gas delivery system to achieve net-zero methane emissions by 2030,” the company said in a news release that was otherwise light on specific actionable carbon-reduction proposals.
Xcel said it will also “offer customers new and expanded programs to reduce carbon emissions from their own natural gas use” such as “pilot programs to test renewable natural gas, smart electric water heaters and air source heat pumps with customers, as well as testing both hydrogen production and the blending of hydrogen in its natural gas delivery system.”
Through its greener initiatives, Xcel expects to reduce almost 80 million tons of carbon by 2030.
“Earlier this year, Colorado released our roadmap for 100% clean electricity generation by 2040, cleaner air, and bold climate action,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “This exciting new commitment by Xcel Energy represents a major step forward that will support Colorado in achieving our state’s climate goals and illustrates how Colorado is encouraging the innovation and collaboration needed to foster a clean economy. Xcel Energy’s aggressive, forward looking plans for clean energy are welcomed news.”
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