Xcel Energy Aims for Zero-Carbon Electricity by 2050

DENVERXcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electric utility, announced on Tuesday, its ambitious goal to deliver 100 percent carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050. As part of this vision, the company also plans to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030, from 2005 levels in the eight states it serves.

“This is an extraordinary time to work in the energy industry, as we’re providing customers more low-cost clean energy than we could have imagined a decade ago,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy. “We’re accelerating our carbon reduction goals because we’re encouraged by advances in technology, motivated by customers who are asking for it and committed to working with partners to make it happen.”

”When I launched my campaign back in 2017 we had a bold agenda for our state to get to 100 percent renewable by 2040,” said Colorado Governor-Elect Jared Polis. “Xcel Energy’s exciting announcement today, along with the strong climate goals communities like Pueblo, Summit County, Ft. Collins, Denver and others across the state have embraced, shows we are leading the way forward right here in Colorado — by committing to a renewable and clean energy future.”

As a leader in the clean energy transition, Xcel Energy’s strong track record includes reducing carbon emissions 35 percent since 2005, as part of its previous goal to cut carbon 60 percent by 2030. The company believes that its 2030 goal can be achieved affordably with renewable energy and other technologies currently available. However, achieving the long-term vision of zero-carbon electricity requires technologies that are not cost effective or commercially available today. That is why Xcel Energy is committed to ongoing work to develop advanced technologies while putting the necessary policies in place to achieve this transition.

SunShare, a Denver-based clean energy company, has helped build the nation’s first and largest community solar program in Colorado and Minnesota.

“Today’s announcement by Xcel Energy is a huge win for consumers, the solar industry, and the environment. We congratulate and commend our partners at Xcel for their bold vision. SunShare has helped build the community solar programs in Colorado and Minnesota, the nation’s first and largest, both of which are part of Xcel’s service area. We expect this announcement will mean an even stronger focus on implementing community solar programs that can bring clean renewable energy to residential and commercial customers across Xcel’s service area that may not be able to install solar panels on their rooftops,” said David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare founder and CEO.

Xcel Energy’s electricity grid serves millions of customers with reliable, affordable energy. By implementing new renewable and carbon-free generation and energy storage technologies at scale, the company can provide the greatest environmental impact at the lowest cost for customers. That clean electricity can then also be used to reduce the environmental footprint of other industries, such as transportation through the use of electric vehicles, for even greater impact.

“Our goals are ambitious and achieving them requires a long runway. We’re starting the conversation today to make sure we can achieve this groundbreaking transition while continuing to keep energy affordable and reliable for customers,” said Fowke.

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