US utility Dominion Energy has set a new goal of reducing carbon dioxide and methane emissions, the dominant greenhouse gases, from energy generation and gas infrastructure operations.
The utility has plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The commitment, one of the boldest yet in the US energy sector, will include reducing methane emissions by 65% by 2030 and 80% by 2040, from 2010 levels.
Dominion Energy will increase its investments in renewable natural gas to make its gas infrastructure area net zero 10 years before the overall company.
Previously, the utility had set a goal 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 Energy will extend licenses for its zero-carbon nuclear generation fleet, promote customer energy efficiency programmes, deploy advanced smart grid technologies such as energy storage and increase investments in wind and solar energy.
In addition, the utility aims to support the development and enactment of policies enabling sustainable energy practices as well as enhance the resiliency of its grid to ensure the deployment of electric vehicles.
The company is developing the largest electric school bus programme in the USand plans to accelerate that effort in the coming years.
Thomas F. Farrell, II, the CEO of Dominion Energy, said: “Our mandate is to provide reliable and affordable energy – safely. We do that every day, all year long. But we recognize that we must also continue to be a leader in combatting climate change. Our employees have always been problem-solvers in the work we do for our customers. I am confident we can use this same mindset to help solve this challenge and leave the world a better place for future generations.
“Dominion Energy already has made important progress on emissions. This new commitment sets an even higher bar that I am confident we can – and will – reach. Net zero emissions will be good for all of our stakeholders – for our customers, communities, employees and investors.”