Citing coming global warming legislation, Duke Energy, the third-largest U.S. utility, has asked North Carolina regulators for permission to raise electricity prices 12.6 percent. The requested price hike would cost North Carolina ratepayers $496 million.
Notable statements in Duke’s 272-page filing — and don’t miss the conservation savings — include:
“In addition to the significant costs associated with existing state and federal environmental and other regulatory requirements… we are facing expected greenhouse gas reduction requirements in the near future.”
“By 2030, the electric utility industry will need to make a total infrastructure investment of $1.5 to $2.0 trillion.”
“As much as 214 gigawatts of new generation capacity may be required by 2030, at an investment cost of $697 billion.”
“Energy efficiency and demand response programs could reduce, but will not eliminate, the need for new generation capacity.”
“All types of generation capacity are needed. For the country as a whole, every type of power plant, including those fueled by natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewable resources will play a significant role in the projected expansion plan.”
“Implementation of a new federal carbon policy will significantly increase the cost and change the mix of new generation capacity… some fossil fuel plants would be retired sooner than they otherwise would have been; and the electric industry would increase investments in renewable energy and nuclear plants.”
“The electric sector will play a large role in greenhouse gas emission reductions under a federal cap-and-trade regime. Our sector accounts for 39% of the CO2 and 33% of greenhouse gases produced in the United States – more than any other emitting sector in the country. The reduction targets will almost certainly require a transformational change in how power is generated, delivered and consumed and that transformation will be costly… Although we do not know precisely what form greenhouse gas regulation will take, the impact on our industry, our Company and our customers is expected to be substantial – particularly if utilities are required to obtain all or a substantial portion of their needed CO2 allowances in auction.”
“Greenhouse gas regulation is the fulcrum of all the major challenges we face.”
“[W]e estimate that by participating in appropriate energy conservation programs, the average North Carolina residential customer (using 1,000 kWh a month) can save about $5 per month…”
Duke CEO Jim Rogers made an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report last night (interview starts at about 15:20).