PSEG updates net-zero vision in line with Biden’s plan

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US utility Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) has updated its sustainability strategy to align with new climate change mitigation strategies announced by the Biden Administration.

PSEG has launched its 2030 climate vision which the utility is claiming to be one of the first and most aggressive net-zero 2030 visions set by a large utility in the US.

Comprising of three pillars, the vision will enable PSEG to achieve 100% carbon-free energy generation by 2030 in line the federal government’s plan to decarbonise the electric sector by 2035.

The three pillars include:

  1. Net-zero emissions for PSEG operations

Following achieving a +50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels, PSEG aims to achieve net-zero emissions for its gas and electric utility operations by 2030. The focus will be placed on reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions associated with the use of natural gas delivered by the utility to some 2 million customers in New Jersey. The utility will modernise its natural gas and electric transportation network by investing in new and advanced technologies that would help accelerate electrification and energy efficiency. The investments will be made through the utility company’s 2018-2023 Gas System Modernisation Programme designed to reduce methane emissions by 21.7%.

A wide range of energy efficiency projects will be deployed to help reduce energy usage in PSEG buildings and facilities, and vehicle fleets replaced with electric models. The utility says it will also explore the use of high-quality carbon offsets.

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  1. 100% greenhouse gas- (GHG), carbon-free power generation

PSEG will invest 50% of its $14-$16 billion capital spending in decarbonisation, emission reduction, methane reduction, clean energy transition and climate/storm adaptation through 2025. The plan to achieve 100% carbon-free generation will be achieved through increasing its portfolio of renewable energy generation technologies and preserving its 3,766MW of carbon-free nuclear generation assets. This is after the utility achieved a 60% reduction in carbon emissions from its power generation since 2005. The goal will be achieved by divesting its 6,750MW of fossil fuel energy generation by increasing investments in the development of offshore wind projects. PSEG has already started entering the offshore wind sector by partnering with Ørsted on 25% of the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project.

  1. Significant contributions to regional economy-wide decarbonisation.

Through the Clean Energy Future Programmes, PSEG will continue to promote decarbonisation across industries and regions beyond its operations. Projects set to be deployed will aim to help businesses and residential customers to reduce their carbon footprints.

PSEG will advocate for federal climate policies and technology research and development programmes that can further reduce GHG emissions.

PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo said: “PSEG’s climate vision for 2030 exemplifies the strategy we intend to pursue over the next decade – driving out harmful greenhouse gas emissions where they occur.

“The federal goal of achieving a 100% carbon-free electric supply by 2035 is an ambitious one that will require technology innovation, new policy frameworks, and a commitment by businesses and consumers across the economy. We’re proud of PSE&G’s leadership in addressing greenhouse gas emissions and PSEG Power’s longstanding leadership as a low-carbon, clean energy generator and our adoption of a net-zero 2050 vision in 2019. With our new comprehensive vision for net-zero by 2030, we’ve set an ambitious goal to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions across our business – including our facilities and vehicles – in less than a decade, doing our part to support state and national objectives.”

“Governance is critical to the success of any initiative and this is especially true in the significant matters of ESG. As with all major sustainability and ESG initiatives, our board has a direct role in overseeing how we integrate the net-zero 2030 vision into business planning and measuring its success over time.”