Dominion Energy sets new goal of net zero emissions by 2050 for both power generation, natural gas operations
12 February 2020
Dominion Energy announced a significant expansion of the company's greenhouse gas emissions-reduction goals, establishing a new commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The goal covers carbon dioxide and methane emissions, the dominant greenhouse gases, from both 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. Dominion currently has cut carbon emissions approximately 50% since 2005 and reduced methane emissions by nearly 25% since 2010.
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 carbon-beneficial renewable natural gas (RNG) projects that will capture an amount of methane from US 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.
Dominion’s work on emissions was recognized with a “leadership” rating by CDP, a nonprofit that monitors and measures environmental impact. JUST Capital, a nonprofit that promotes corporate responsibility, has also ranked Dominion among to US corporate citizens.
Reducing emissions as fast as possible and achieving net zero emissions requires immediate and direct action. The company is moving to extend licenses for its zero-carbon nuclear generation fleet, promoting customer energy efficiency programs, and investing in wind and solar power, lower-carbon natural gas, and carbon-beneficial RNG. Over the long term, achieving this goal will also require supportive legislative and regulatory policies, technological advancements and broader investments across the economy.
This includes support for the testing and deployment of such technologies as large-scale energy storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear and carbon capture, all of which have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to reducing its own emissions, Dominion Energy expects to go beyond its own efforts to help accelerate greenhouse gas reductions in other industries. The company is well positioned to unlock progress in transportation, agriculture and manufacturing.
Transportation. Dominion Energy 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.
The company is leading the way in the development of the largest electric school bus program in the nation and plans to accelerate that effort in the coming years.
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.
Industrial. Significant progress can be made by converting oil and coal-powered manufacturing facilities to lower-carbon natural gas. These emissions reductions would be analogous to the historic progress already achieved in electricity generation by transitioning from coal to cleaner natural gas.
Agriculture. The ability to capture methane from farm operations represents a major opportunity to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this sector. Dominion Energy is partnering with the nation’s largest hog and dairy producers and has already committed to $700 million of shared investment to capture methane emissions from our nation’s farms and use RNG to serve homes, businesses and vehicle fleets.
Capturing methane emissions is essential. There's a lot of potential out there. One of the biggest problems is open landfills, which have no methane collection systems in place. We should look at replacing landfills with something else.
Powering more vehicles with LNG/CNG may be a problem, not a solution. It reduces carbon emissions but "methane slip" still adds a lot of GHGs. It would be better to use fuels like methanol, which degrade quickly in air.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 14 February 2020 at 06:36 AM