Xcel Energy pledges goal of delivering carbon-free electricity by 2050

Polis campaigned on renewable-only goal
Posted at 4:19 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 18:19:25-05

DENVER – Xcel Energy announced Tuesday its hope to deliver 100 percent of its electricity to customers carbon-free by 2050 and to reduce carbon emissions to 80 percent of 2005 levels by the year 2030.

The company, which is Colorado’s largest utility and operates in seven other states, said its new goal comes on the heels of new technological advances in renewable energy.

Its previous goal for 2030 had been to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent, but the company said it believes it can now meet the new goal of an 80-percent reduction “with renewable energy and other technologies currently available.”

The company said it believes it can reach its 2050 goal of zero carbon emissions by continue to develop new technologies within the company that the company says aren’t cost-effective or widely available in 2018.

The company made the announcement in Denver Tuesday along with Governor-elect Jared Polis and other state leaders.

Polis campaigned on hopes to have Colorado using 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 and said Tuesday’s announcement was a boon to that goal – despite Xcel committing to 100 percent carbon-free electricity and not 100 percent renewable energy.

“Xcel Energy’s exciting announcement today, along with the strong climate goals communities like Pueblo, Summit County, Ft. Collins, Denver and others across the state have embraced, shows we are leading the way forward right here in Colorado – by committing to a renewable and clean energy future,” Polis said in a statement.

Several Colorado cities have made pledges to use only renewable resources for their energy over the next several decades.

Earlier this year, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission signed off on a plan from Xcel to retire two coal-fired generating stations and to expand its renewable energy generation by purchasing gas-fired generating plants and adding solar and wind farms across the state.

The company opened its new 300-turbine wind farm, the Rush Creek Wind Project, on Oct. 31.