Duke Energy, the third largest emitter of CO2 in the U.S., has released its 2007/2008 sustainability report (PDF).
According to the report, Global CO2 emissions rose from 105,200 thousand tons in 2006 t0 111,600 thousand tons in 2007, U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions dropped from 812,600 tons in 2006 to 684,000 tons in 2007, and U.S. nitrogen oxide emissions dropped from 148,600 tons in 2006 to 131,000 in 2007.
In addition, the company has outlined a possible scenario that would enable it to cut its 2006 CO2 emissions in half – by approximately 50 million tons – by 2030.
In part, the scenario includes retiring at least 25 percent of its coal-fired power plants, doubling its nuclear power generation in the Carolinas, reducing the average annual growth rate in peak demand by 15 to 20 percent, and reducing the average annual growth rate in energy consumption by 20 to 25 percent.
Under the scenario, customer rates, with inflation included, could increase 70 to 120 percent. The increase could be even larger if CO2 allowances have to be purchased.
In February, Duke chairman Jim Rogers said that if utilities are required to buy credits for all their CO2 emissions in a government-run auction, instead of being granted credits covering their current output, utility rates would jump 30 percent in the Carolinas.
Future goals include reducing the nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emission rates of its coal-fired power plants 10 percent and 35 percent, respectively, by 2008 compared to 2006, cutting the nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compound, particulate matter and carbon monoxide emissions from its on-road and non-road vehicle fleet by an average of 35 percent by 2012 compared to 2006, and reducing energy consumption at its largest commercial buildings 10% by 2012 compared to its 2005-2007 average.
In 2007, Duke spent approximately $2.8 million on federal lobbying efforts.