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Decarbonization Targets for the Largest U.S. Utilities

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Decarbonization Targets for the Largest U.S. Utilities

The U.S. recently rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and decarbonization is back on the minds of government officials and companies alike.

Though every sector plays a major role on the path to net zero carbon emissions, none are as impactful as the energy sector. In 2016, almost three-quarters of global GHG emissions came from energy consumption. With organizations looking to either curb energy consumption or transition to cleaner forms of energy, the pressure is on utilities to decarbonize and offer green alternatives.

How are U.S. utilities responding?

This infographic from the National Public Utility Council highlights the decarbonization targets of the largest investor-owned and public U.S. utilities.

U.S. Utility Decarbonization Targets Through 2035

The American energy sector has many players, but the largest utilities account for the bulk of production.

For each state, we looked at the largest investor-owned and public electric utilities by retail sales as tracked by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Decarbonization targets were taken from each utility’s stated goals or sustainability report.

After narrowing down from 3,328 different entities and subsidiaries, the final list of 60 utilities accounted for 60% of U.S. energy sales in 2019 at just under 1.93 trillion MWh (megawatt hours).

Many companies on the list have multiple goals spread across different timeframes, but they can be grouped into a few distinct categories:

  • Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: These measures are either percentage-based or flat reductions, and also include becoming carbon neutral or “net zero” by balancing reduced emissions with carbon offsets.
  • Reducing carbon intensity: These measures work on reducing the impact of electricity generated by fossil fuels, rather than reducing the amount directly.
  • Increasing renewable energy production: These measures focus on adding renewable energy with a lower carbon footprint to the production mix and can be either percentage-based or flat additions.
  • Increasing clean electricity production: These measures are centered around ensuring that electricity produced is 100% carbon free.

Utilities with decarbonization targets set for 2035 and earlier vary wildly in scope, from completely carbon neutral to minimal reductions.

EntityState (Largest Provider)Decarbonization GoalTarget Year
City of SeattleWACarbon neutral2005 (since)
ALLETEMN△50% Renewable energy2021
ExelonDC, DE, IL, MD, NJ, PA▽15% GHG emissions2022
Otter Tail PowerND▽30% CO2 emissions, △30% Renewable energy2022
AvangridCT, ME▽35% GHG emissions2025
Emera (Tampa Electric)FL▽55% CO2 emissions2025
Green Mountain PowerVT▽100% CO2 emissions2025
NextEra EnergyFL▽67% CO2 emissions2025
NiSourceIN▽50% GHG emissions2025
NRGTX▽50% CO2 emissions2025
Avista CorpID, WACarbon neutral2027
AESIN▽70% Carbon intensity2030
AlliantIA, WI▽50% CO2 emissions2030
AmerenIL, MO▽50% CO2 emissions2030
American Electric PowerAR, KY, LA, MI, OK, OH, VA, WV▽70% CO2 emissions2030
Arizona Public ServiceAZ△65% Clean electricity2030
Black HillsSD, WY▽40% GHG emissions2030
City of Colorado SpringsCO▽80% CO2 emissions2030
DTE Electric CompanyMI▽50% CO2 emissions2030
Duke EnergyFL, IN, NC, OH, SC▽50% CO2 emissions2030
EntergyAR, LA, MS▽50% CO2 emissions2030
EversourceCT, MA, NHCarbon neutral2030
FirstEnergyMD, NJ, OH, PA▽30% GHG emissions2030
Green Mountain PowerVT△100% Renewable energy2030
Long Island Power AuthorityNY▽40% GHG emissions2030
MDU ResourcesND▽45% GHG emissions2030
National GridMA, NY, RI▽80% GHG emissions2030
NiSourceIN▽90% GHG emissions2030
NV EnergyNV△50% Renewable energy2030
OGE ElectricOK▽50% CO2 emissions2030
Pacific Gas & ElectricCA△60% Renewable energy2030
PacifiCorpID, OR, UT, WY▽60% CO2 emissions2030
PSEGNJ▽13 million tons CO2 emissions2030
Puget Sound EnergyWACarbon neutral2030
Southern California EdisonCA△60% Renewable energy2030
Southern Company AL, GA, MS▽50% CO2 emissions2030
Tennessee Valley AuthorityTN▽70% CO2 emissions2030
Vistra (TXU Energy Retail)TX▽60% CO2 emissions2030
WEC EnergyWI▽40% CO2 emissions2030
Xcel EnergyCO, MN, ND, NM, SD▽80% CO2 emissions2030
AvangridCT, MECarbon neutral2035
Salt River ProjectAZ▽65% Carbon intensity, ▽30% CO2 emissions2035
Tucson Electric PowerAZ▽80% CO2 emissions, △70% Renewable energy2035

It’s also important to note that carbon emission reductions are not equal across the board.

Reduction is traditionally based on a base-year measurement (usually 2000 or 2005) that changes for each utility, and a small reduction at a major energy producer can be more impactful than 100% clean energy at a small local utility.

U.S. Utility Decarbonization Targets 2040 and Beyond

From 2040 and beyond, the decarbonization efforts become more ambitious.

In line with many states and the federal government making sweeping clean energy commitments, most of the utility companies with decarbonization targets from 2040 to 2050 are aimed at either carbon neutrality or significant reductions.

For some companies these are their first and only targets, while others are building on smaller goals from earlier years. In the case of the few utility companies marked *N/A, a decarbonization target goal couldn’t be found.

EntityState (Largest Provider)Decarbonization GoalTarget Year
AmerenIL, MO▽85% CO2 emissions2040
Black HillsSD, WY▽70% GHG emissions2040
City of Colorado SpringsCO▽90% CO2 emissions2040
City of San AntonioTX▽80% CO2 emissions2040
CMS EnergyMICarbon neutral, △90% Clean electricity2040
Consolidated EdisonNY△100% Clean electricity2040
Emera (Tampa Electric)FL▽80% CO2 emissions2040
Lincoln Electric SystemNECarbon neutral2040
National GridMA, NY, RI▽90% GHG emissions2040
PNM ResourcesNM▽100% CO2 emissions2040
Portland General ElectricORCarbon neutral2040
PPLKY, PA▽70% CO2 emissions2040
Avista CorpID, WA△100% Clean electricity2045
Hawaiian Electric IndustriesHICarbon neutral, △100% Renewable energy2045
Idaho PowerID△100% Clean electricity2045
NorthWestern EnergyMT, SD▽90% Carbon intensity2045
Pacific Gas & ElectricCA△100% Clean electricity2045
Puget Sound EnergyWA△100% Clean electricity2045
SempraCA△100% Clean electricity2045
Southern California EdisonCA△100% Clean electricity2045
PSEGNJ▽80% CO2 emissions2046
AlliantIA, WICarbon neutral2050
AmerenIL, MOCarbon neutral2050
American Electric PowerAR, KY, LA, MI, OK, OH, VA, WV▽80% CO2 emissions2050
Arizona Public ServiceAZ△100% Clean electricity2050
City of San AntonioTXCarbon neutral2050
Dominion EnergyNC, SC, VACarbon neutral2050
DTE Electric CompanyMICarbon neutral2050
Duke EnergyFL, IN, NC, OH, SCCarbon neutral2050
Emera (Tampa Electric)FLCarbon neutral2050
EntergyAR, LA, MSCarbon neutral2050
EvergyKS, MO▽80% CO2 emissions2050
FirstEnergyMD, NJ, OH, PACarbon neutral2050
Long Island Power AuthorityNY▽85% GHG emissions2050
National GridMA, NY, RICarbon neutral2050
NRGTXCarbon neutral2050
NV EnergyNV△100% Clean electricity2050
Omaha Public Power DistrictNECarbon neutral2050
PacifiCorpID, OR, UT, WY▽80% CO2 emissions2050
PPLKY, PA▽80% CO2 emissions2050
PSEGNJCarbon neutral2050
Salt River ProjectAZ▽90% Carbon intensity2050
Southern Company AL, GA, MSCarbon neutral2050
Vistra (TXU Energy Retail)TXCarbon neutral2050
WEC EnergyWI▽80% CO2 emissions2050
Xcel EnergyCO, MN, ND, NM, SDCarbon neutral2050
MidAmerican EnergyIA, IL△100% Renewable energyN/A
Cleco PowerLAN/AN/A
ENMAX (Versant Power)MEN/AN/A
Nebraska Public Power DistrictNEN/AN/A
PUD 1 of Snohomish CountyWAN/AN/A
Unitil Energy SystemsNHN/AN/A

While the targets set above are significant, they are also a long time away from being met. With pressure to decarbonize increasing across the board, utility companies may need to reassess the impact or timeliness of their decarbonization targets.

The National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource for all things decarbonization in the utilities industry. Learn more.

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7 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Improving Healthcare

Aritifical Intelligence becoming increasingly more prevalent in healthcare. Here are 7 ways this growth might impact the industry as a whole.

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7 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Improving Healthcare

Emerging technologies have the potential to completely reshape the healthcare industry and the way people manage their health. In fact, tech innovation in healthcare and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) could provide more convenient, personalized care for patients.

It could also create substantially more value for the industry as a whole—up to $410 billion per year by 2025.

This graphic by RYAH MedTech explores the ways that technology, and more specifically AI, is transforming healthcare.

How is Technology Disrupting the Patient Experience?

Tech innovation is emerging across a wide range of medical applications.

Because of this, AI has the potential to impact every step of a patient’s journey—from early detection, to rehabilitation, and even follow-up appointments.

Here’s a look at each step in the patient journey, and how AI is expected to transform it:

1. Prevention

Wearables and apps track vast amounts of personal data, so in the future, AI could use that information to make health recommendations for patients. For example, AI could track the glucose levels of patients with diabetes to provide personalized, real-time health advice.

2. Early Detection

Devices like smartwatches, biosensors, and fitness trackers can monitor things like heart rate and respiratory patterns. Because of this, health apps could notify users of any abnormalities before conditions become critical.

Wearables could also have a huge impact on fall prevention among seniors. AI-enabled accelerometer bracelets and smart belts could detect early warning signs, such as low grip strength, hydration levels, and muscle mass.

3. Doctors Visits

A variety of smart devices have the potential to provide support for healthcare workers. For instance, voice technology could help transcribe clinical data, which would mean less administrative work for healthcare workers, giving them more time to focus on patient care.

Virtual assistants are expected to take off in the next decade. In fact, the healthcare virtual assistant market is projected to reach USD $2.8 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 27%.

4. Test Results

Traditionally, test results are analyzed manually, but AI has the potential to automate this process through pattern recognition. This would have a significant impact on infection testing.

5. Surgery / Hospital Visits

Research indicates that the use of robotics in surgery can save lives. In fact, one study found that robot assisted kidney surgeries saw a 52% increase in success rate.

Robotics can also support healthcare workers with repetitive tasks, such as restocking supplies, disinfecting patient rooms, and transporting medical equipment, which gives healthcare workers more time with their patients.

6. Rehabilitation

Personalized apps have significant care management potential. On the patient level, AI-enabled apps could be specifically tailored to individuals to track progress or adjust treatment plans based on real-time patient feedback.

On an industry level, data generated from users may have the potential to reduce costs on research and development, and improve the accuracy of clinical trials.

7. Follow-ups and Remote Monitoring

Virtual nurse apps can help patients stay accountable by consistently monitoring their own progress. This empowers patients by putting the control in their own hands.

This shift in power is already happening—for instance, a recent survey by Deloitte found that more than a third of respondents are willing to use at-home diagnostics, and more than half are comfortable telling their doctor when they disagree with them.

It’s All About the Experience

Through the use of wearables, smart devices, and personalized apps, patients are becoming increasingly more connected, and therefore less dependent on traditional healthcare.

However, as virtual care becomes more common, healthcare workers need to maintain a high quality of care. To do this, virtual training for physicians is critical, along with user-friendly platforms and intentionally designed apps to provide a seamless user experience.

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Antimony: A Mineral with a Critical Role in the Green Future

Despite its lack of fanfare, antimony is a critical mineral that plays an important role in the mass storage of renewable energy.

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Critical Mineral Antimony

Antimony: A Mineral with a Critical Role in the Green Future

If someone asked you to name the first mineral that came to mind, odds are, it wouldn’t be antimony.

Yet, despite its lack of fanfare, it plays a significant role in our day-to-day lives. This graphic from Perpetua Resources provides an overview of antimony’s key uses, and the critical role it plays in the movement towards clean energy, among other uses.

What even is Antimony?

Antimony is an element found in the earth’s crust. Rarely found in its native metallic form, it is primarily extracted from the sulfide mineral stibnite.

It has a variety of uses and is found in everything from household items to military-grade equipment. Because it conducts heat poorly, it’s used as a flame retardant in industrial uniforms, equipment, and even children’s clothing.

End Use% of antimony consumption in the U.S.
Flame retardant35%
Transportation and batteries29%
Chemicals16%
Ceramics and glass12%
Other8%

Its second most common use, according to USGS, is in transportation and batteries. Traditionally, antimony has been combined with lead to create a strong, corrosion-resistant metal alloy, which is particularly useful in lead-acid batteries.

However, recent innovation has found a new use for antimony—it now plays an essential role in large-scale renewable energy storage, which is critical to the clean energy movement.

Antimony’s Role in Clean Energy

Large-scale renewable energy storage has been a massive hurdle for the clean energy transition because it’s hard to consistently generate renewable power. For instance, wind and solar farms might have a surplus of energy on windy or sunny days, but can fall short when the weather isn’t sunny, or when the wind stops.

Because of this, mass storage of renewable energy is key, in order to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Recent research points to liquid metal batteries as a potential storage solution—and these batteries heavily rely on antimony.

But there’s a finite supply, and with China currently dominating antimony production and processing, the U.S. could be at the mercy of its economic rival.

CountryProduction in 2020 (tons)Reserves (tons)
China80,000480,000
Russia30,000350,000
Tajikistan28,00050,000
Bolivia3,000310,000
Turkey2,000100,000
Australia2,000140,000
United States---60,000

In 2020, there was no domestically mined production of antimony in America—meaning the U.S. relied on other countries, primarily China, for its antimony supply.

In the past, China has imposed restrictions on the exports of antimony-based products to the U.S., which reduced availability and increased prices. Because of this, antimony was identified as one of the 35 minerals that are critical to U.S. national security.

Tapping into Domestic Supply

To decrease foreign dependence, the U.S. could tap into domestic resources of antimony and build up its local supply chain.

The only major antimony deposit in North America is located in the Stibnite-Yellow Pine Mining District of central Idaho. This site is the largest reserve in the nation and is expected to supply roughly 35% of U.S. antimony demand on average for the first six years of production.

Domestic production would not only allow the U.S. to reduce its import reliance, but it would also create jobs, providing economic support for the local community.

In the near future, antimony demand could soar as a result of its critical role in clean energy storage—and domestic production via the Stibnite-Yellow Pine Mining district could play a key role in meeting this rising demand.

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