Newark-based PSEG accelerated its net-zero ambitions by launching a three-pronged 2030 climate vision that extends across its business. The PSEG climate vision marks one of the first and most aggressive net-zero 2030 visions set by a large utility and power generator and comprises three pillars:
PSEG’s net-zero 2030 climate vision continues the company’s track record of recognizing the importance of sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in the strategic planning and decision-making process. In addition, PSEG’s pivot to 100% carbon-free generation is in line with President Biden’s goal of decarbonizing the U.S. electric sector by 2035.
“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,” PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo said. “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 on 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.”
Continued Izzo: “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.”
PSEG’s regulated electric and gas utility, Public Service Electric & Gas, already has reduced GHG emissions by more than 50%, from 2005 levels. It now aims to achieve net-zero GHG emissions for its electric and gas utility operations, referred to as scope 1 and 2 emissions, by 2030. As we transition to zero-carbon electricity generation and drive down the emissions from operations, we will also focus on reducing GHG emissions associated with the use of natural gas, which we deliver to almost 2 million customers throughout New Jersey. Homes and businesses in the state rely on natural gas for space heating, water heating, cooking, and other critical needs.
To accomplish this goal in less than 10 years, PSEG will leverage a suite of strategies – from modernizing its existing natural gas and electric transmission and distribution networks to investing in new technologies that support greater electrification and improve energy efficiency. PSE&G’s successful Gas System Modernization Program, which replaces old cast-iron and unprotected steel gas mains, helps to achieve the methane goal of a 21.7% reduction of absolute methane emissions from 2018 to the end of 2023 and would allow a significant reduction in methane emissions by 2030. PSEG’s strategy to address emissions also includes evaluating alternatives to natural gas. These strategies target reducing methane and other emissions, such as sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), that contribute to global warming and climate change, often more than carbon emissions.
In PSEG buildings and facilities, the company will look to achieve savings through energy efficiency solutions. For its vehicles, PSEG has committed to electrify a large portion of its fleet over a ten-year period. For any residual emissions, PSEG will explore high-quality carbon offsets.
Decarbonizing power generation is the foundation for achieving the national- and state-level broader clean energy goals, including electrification of buildings and transportation, and ensuring that the electricity we do use is clean and reliable. PSEG is committed to building on its existing decarbonization success, having achieved a 60% reduction in PSEG Power’s annual CO2 emissions since 2005.
Looking ahead, PSEG will direct half of its current 2021-to-2025 capital spending program of approximately $14-$16 billion toward decarbonization, emission reduction, methane reduction, clean energy transition and climate/storm adaptation.
By 2030, PSEG plans to transition its power generation portfolio to 100% GHG-free resources by aiming to preserve carbon-free nuclear generation and investing in utility-scale renewables. In 2020, PSEG announced it is exploring strategic alternatives to divest its non-nuclear generating fleet, including 6,750 megawatts (MW) of fossil generation. PSEG continues to advocate for support to maintain the economic viability of its carbon-free nuclear generation fleet, totaling 3,766 MW, while also exploring investments in regional offshore wind.
New Jersey has a target of obtaining 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035, and the mid-Atlantic region broadly is well situated to capitalize on the economic benefits of developing this new industry. PSEG is excited to be partnering with Ørsted on 25% of the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project.
Beyond its own operations, PSEG continues to promote and enable decarbonization across the industries and regions where it operates, through its Clean Energy Future programs, supporting businesses and residential customers as they aim to reduce their carbon footprints and help mitigate the long-term impacts of climate change. PSEG also will continue to align and advocate for state and federal programs to support the transition to 100% clean energy, including an economy-wide price on carbon. PSEG supports New Jersey’s ambitious clean energy and climate change goals. PSEG will enable the low-carbon energy transition for customers through programs that promote wide adoption of energy efficiency and the switch to electric vehicles.
To further advance economy-wide decarbonization, PSEG continues to advocate for federal climate policy, including measures such as a national Clean Energy Standard and a federal production tax credit for existing merchant nuclear generation to support these critical resources and facilitate achievement of a national standard. PSEG also supports federal research and development funding for new technologies that can further reduce GHG emissions, as well as federal, state and local policies that encourage emission-reductions across all sectors of the economy.
Overall, PSEG’s net-zero 2030 climate vision is a significant milestone in the energy industry, including:
Additional details on PSEG’s net-zero 2030 climate vision will be available in its forthcoming Climate and Sustainability Report, which will launch in the third quarter of 2021.
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