Exelon, Duke Tout Efficiency as Best Tool to Combat GHGs

Source: Electric Power Daily (1/14/08) P. 1

Posted on: 01/14/2008

Energy efficiency is the best tool in the near term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, top utility executives said Friday at an efficiency conference. “Energy efficiency must be the first wave in dealing with the climate problem,” John Rowe, Exelon chairman, president and CEO, said at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in Chicago .

Jim Rogers, Duke Energy chairman, president and CEO, agreed. “More than any single thing, invest in energy efficiency,” he said. Efficiency will be a key part of a GHG reduction plan Exelon is developing that will meet standards laid out in legislation sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman, an Independent Democrat from Connecticut, and John Warner, a Virginia Republican, Rowe said.

The legislation, introduced in October, would cut GHG emissions by 19% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 63% by 2050. Chicago-based Exelon’s plan, expected to be released this spring, will likely call for greater efficiency at Exelon’s buildings and power plants, Rowe said. It will also target efficiency programs at large industrial customers.

The plan may call for shutting some older fossil-fueled plants, adding gas-fired and wind generation, and possibly building a nuclear plant in Texas , Rowe said. Exelon is already on track to meet a voluntary goal of cutting its GHG emissions by 8% below 2001 levels by 2009, said Jennifer Medley, a company spokeswoman who declined to comment on the pending plan, noting that it was still being developed.

Of the various tools available to cut GHG emissions, efficiency, nuclear power and gas-fired generation probably are the least expensive options for cutting carbon emissions, Rowe said