Xcel Energy, which serves almost 6 million customers in eight Western and Midwestern states with electricity and natural Gas, has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its natural Gas operations by 2050.
The statement comes almost three years After the company vowed to provide consumers with carbon-free power by 2050, with an interim goal of decreasing emissions by 80% by 2030.
Xcel’s initiatives to minimize methane emissions will now be accelerated, in part by procuring natural Gas from providers with “certified low emissions” and improving its gas distribution infrastructure. Customer initiatives for the adoption of electric appliances and low-carbon gas alternatives will also be expanded.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis stated, “Earlier this year, we unveiled our blueprint for 100 percent renewable power generation by 2040, healthier air, and strong climate action.” “This exciting new commitment by Xcel Energy is a significant step forward in helping Colorado meet its climate objectives, and it demonstrates how Colorado is supporting the innovation and cooperation required to promote a clean economy.” The bold, forward-thinking efforts for sustainable energy by Xcel Energy are excellent news.”
According to a research published by Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy, improvements in the US natural Gas pipeline infrastructure are needed to facilitate the future transition from natural Gas to cleaner, low-to-no-carbon fuels. Zero-carbon fuels will not be ready to replace natural Gas as the backbone of the energy mix for several decades, according to the authors, and pipeline modifications can assist the transportation of hydrogen and biogas.
Xcel’s ambition to expand its net-zero objective to its natural Gas sector was praised by RMI.
“RMI supports Xcel Energy’s goal of reducing methane emissions in its distribution system by procuring certified natural Gas from transparent, independent certification programs like MiQ and closely monitoring methane emissions. RMI will continue to work with regulators to guarantee that utilities can recover costs for supplying gas to customers with a lesser environmental effect “In a statement, RMI’s manager of climate intelligence, Lara Owens, said.
By 2030, Xcel anticipates net-zero ambitions to eliminate carbon emissions by approximately 80 million tons.