Levelized Cost of Renewables in the Southeast

The levelized cost of renewables is quickly dropping throughout the Southeast. While utilities are selecting natural gas plants to meet energy demands within their territories, large-scale solar and wind projects are approaching, if not matching, the cost of new natural gas combined-cycle plants, and providing electricity at much lower prices than natural gas combustion turbines – all without the production of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants that cause global warming and create public health problems.

 

PM2.5 Emissions in Duke Energy Territory by Generating Technology and Scenario

PM2.5 is a criteria pollutant that is causing increased concern as more studies of its effects on public health come to light. PM2.5 is also a pollutant on the rise, emitted by both natural gas and coal plants.  Due to the way that utilities operate these facilities, adding more clean energy to the market can produce highly-variable impacts on the overall production (and therefore, the healthcare burden shouldered by the public) of this pollutant.

 

CO2 Emissions in Duke Energy Territory by Scenario

Carbon dioxide is the leading anthropogenic greenhouse gas, and the plants on the Duke system in the Carolinas are some of the largest sources in the United States – Belews Creek and Roxboro are both in the top 30 nationally. The map below shows the result of several scenarios on the expected emissions and resulting social costs from all fossil fuel plants on the Duke system through 2030.