Xcel Energy commits to net-zero carbon by 2050

Sustainable energy

United StatesXcel Energy plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its natural gas operations by 2050.

In addition to its objective of providing 100 percent carbon-free electricity to customers by 2050, Xcel Energy is committing to becoming a net-zero energy company by 2050, while maintaining service reliability and customer bills at a low level.

Xcel Energy is the only major US energy supplier to establish a comprehensive strategy with strong goals for lowering greenhouse gas emissions across three important economic sectors: electricity, natural gas use in buildings, and transportation.

The new clean natural gas promise expands on Xcel Energy’s 2018 vision of providing consumers with 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, with an aggressive interim goal of decreasing emissions by 80 percent by 2030. This prompted several dozen other U.S. power companies to announce similar goals for reducing their own carbon emissions.

The business announced in 2020 that it would power 1.5 million electric vehicles in its service region by 2030. Xcel Energy has committed to providing net-zero gas service by 2050, with an aim of reducing emissions by 25% by 2030.

Xcel Energy will accelerate its plans for reducing methane emissions under its clean energy vision for natural gas, including purchasing natural gas only from suppliers with certified low emissions and continuing to improve its natural gas delivery system to achieve net-zero methane emissions by 2030.

In addition, the firm intends to offer new and extended services to clients in order to reduce carbon emissions from their own natural gas use. These schemes will include incentives for both natural gas conservation and the adoption of electric appliances and low-carbon gas alternatives such as hydrogen and renewable natural gas. Xcel Energy is beginning a series of pilot programs with consumers to test renewable natural gas, smart electric water heaters, and air source heat pumps, as well as hydrogen production and hydrogen blending in its natural gas delivery system.

Overall, the firm plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its natural gas service by 25% by 2030 (from 2020 levels), a significant step toward the company’s goal of offering net-zero gas service by 2050.

Xcel Energy intends to cut almost 80 million tons of carbon by 2030 through renewable energy initiatives and emissions reduction targets, which is equivalent to the carbon removed by nearly 1.2 billion trees. Since 2005, the corporation has decreased carbon emissions by more than 40 million tons, putting it more than halfway to its objective.