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Puget Sound Energy outlines 'stretch goals' to reach beyond net zero carbon

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DW Keefer's picture
Journalist Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

  • Member since 2017
  • 277 items added with 271,906 views
  • Jan 22, 2021

Puget Sound Energy has set an aspirational goal to be a “Beyond Net Zero Carbon” company by 2045. To reach that goal, PSE said it will target reducing its own carbon emissions to net zero and help other sectors enable carbon reduction across the state of Washington.

PSE has set a collection of commitments and aspirational goals to reach Beyond Net Zero Carbon by 2045:

PSE operations and electric supply carbon emissions: The company says it intends to reduce emissions from PSE electric and gas operations and electric supply to net zero by 2030. By 2045, PSE will have a 100% carbon-free electric supply.

PSE natural gas sales for customer end use carbon emissions: The company set a goal to reach net zero carbon emissions for natural gas sales by 2045, with an interim target of a 30% emissions reduction by 2030.

Beyond PSE-reported carbon emissions: The company said it plans to partner with customers and industry to identify programs and products that cost-effectively reduce carbon across sectors and across the region and state. Examples include transportation through EV implementation and the support of low-carbon fuels, upstream methane emission reduction, and projects for municipal solid waste, agricultural waste and forestry sources.

PSE said that specific steps include eliminating coal power and increasing its use of alternative fuels for power generation. It also plans to modify tariffs and incentives to mitigate natural gas load growth, including changes to the utility’s line extension policy and appliance incentives.

It also plans to expand customer programs, such as energy efficiency and demand response, paired with increasing utility-scale renewables (solar and wind) and local, distributed renewables, and associated electric transmission.

The utility also plans to electrify most of its fleet vehicles by 2030 and use lower-carbon fuels for fleet vehicles that can’t be electrified and offset remaining emissions by 2030.

PSE said it will convene an external advisory committee with representation from a diverse set of community members, partners, technical experts and others to help it achieve its goals.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 22, 2021

DW, "net-zero" is a term often used by renewable energy promoters who realize powering a grid with unpredictable sources of energy pushes the goal of reaching zero carbon emissions forever out of reach.

So they accept those emissions - then claim they can "offset" them by pulling carbon from the air and storing it somewhere, for an indefinite period of time. Several proposals for Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS), as they are collectively known, are under consideration. Not one, however, has been shown to be practical or effective.

Do you think it's wise to set goals for addressing the most important problem of our time - climate change - based on a technology which doesn't yet exist, and may never exist?

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