Dominion Energy announced an expansion of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions-reduction goals Tuesday, establishing a new commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The goal covers carbon dioxide and methane emissions, the dominant greenhouse gases, from our electricity generation and gas infrastructure operations.
The company had previously committed to cut methane emissions from its natural gas operations by 50% between 2010 and 2030 and carbon emissions from its power generating facilities by 80% between 2005 and 2050. Progress toward those goals has been significant, as Dominion has cut carbon emissions approximately 50% since 2005 and reduced methane emissions by nearly 25% since 2010.
Dominion said the strengthened goal is a recognition of the increased expectations and interest, among customers as well as employees, in building a clean energy future.
Thomas F. Farrell, II, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said that his employees “have always been problem-solvers in the work we do for our customers.” He added the he is “confident we can use this same mindset to help solve this challenge and leave the world a better place for future generations.”
Under the strengthened emissions framework, the company will focus not only on driving toward the 2050 goal, but on achieving near-term progress, particularly on methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon. Under the net zero framework, the company is committing to decrease methane emissions by 65% by 2030 and 80% by 2040, from 2010 levels. Furthermore, the company has committed to invest in renewable natural gas (RNG) projects that will capture an amount of methane from U.S. farms at least equivalent to any remaining methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the company’s natural gas operations, making Dominion’s gas infrastructure area net zero 10 years before the overall company.
The company has also turned its focus on transportation and said it is poised to support a dramatic reduction in the carbon footprint of the transportation sector in several ways:
- By enhancing the resiliency and flexibility of Dominion’s electric grid to enable the more rapid deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as provided in Virginia by the Grid Transformation and Security Act.
- By developing one of the largest electric school bus program in the nation.
- By recognizing that large reductions can also be made with wider use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and hydrogen fuels in place of higher-carbon fuels in larger vehicles such as long-haul trucks and maritime shipping vessels. Allowing these fleets to access RNG will drive down their carbon footprint even further.
Other utilities which have announced zero-zero carbon goals by 2050 or earlier include NRG Energy, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, DTE Energy, Avista, PSEG and others.
The energy transition is front and center at Enlit Europe (Milan, Italy – October 27-29, 2020), POWERGEN (Orlando Florida USA – December 8-10, 2020) and DISTRIBUTECH (San Diego, California USA, February 9-11, 2021).