When the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord last June, many people thought the decision would have a negative effect on our country’s carbon reduction efforts.
For Xcel Energy, the decision had zero impact on our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. For more than a decade, we’ve been leading the transition to clean energy, not because of mandates or agreements, but because we listen to our stakeholders and a growing majority want cleaner energy. In our newly published 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report, you can see the significant progress we’re making delivering clean energy for our customers and our communities.
Industry-leading carbon reductions
We’re successfully transitioning our generating fleet from fossil fuels to renewables without sacrificing reliability and affordability. And the numbers speak for themselves. At the end of 2017, we’ve reduced carbon emissions 35 percent compared to 2005 when we began this journey. That result is among the best in the industry.
Watch a preview video of Xcel Energy’s Corporate Responsibility Report
For context, the U.S. commitment under the Paris Climate Accord was to reduce carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. Not only has Xcel Energy surpassed that goal, but we’re on pace to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent from that 2005 baseline by 2022, once a dozen new wind farms across seven states go into service.
Tracking ambitious clean energy goals
Looking further ahead, we believe we can reduce carbon emissions 60 percent by 2030 and have aspirations to do even more, all without sacrificing reliability and affordability.
For the last five years, our average residential electricity and natural gas bills have declined, and our goal is to keep bills flat or at the rate of inflation while we invest in clean energy. That’s because we can put low-cost, emissions-free wind energy on our system today without sacrificing reliability and save on fuel and other costs that come with operating fossil-fueled plants.
Our clean energy strategy includes replacing aging coal units – by 2026 we will retire 20 of them (since 2005) – with renewables and using more carbon-friendly natural gas plants as backup. We also plan to run our carbon-free nuclear plants in the Upper Midwest through their licensing periods in the early 2030s and continue to offer customers more than 150 energy-efficiency programs. If our Colorado Energy Plan is approved, we will do even more.
Rest assured, we will continue to lead the clean energy transition without sacrificing reliability and affordability.
Learn more about these efforts and our overall environmental and social performance in our Corporate Responsibility Report.