US Utilities Decarbonization Index
With Biden’s administration targeting a zero-emissions energy sector in the United States by 2035, how are the nation’s largest electric power providers decarbonising?
Together, Visual Capitalist and our sponsor, the National Public Utilities Board, developed the annual Decarbonization Index. The index measures and compares the decarbonization status of the 30 largest investor-owned facilities in the United States.
Decarbonization is quantified by companies scoring on six emissions-related metrics based on publicly available data from 2020 (latest available).
Why the 30 largest IOUs?
Why does the Decarbonization Index look specifically at the 30 largest units of debt through electricity generation?
Well, these 30 tools were created collectively 2.3 billion megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity (including purchased power), making up more than half of net electricity generation in the United States in 2020. Moreover, they also served more than 90 million customers, which represents approx 56% For all electricity customers in the country.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the top 30 debt securities have an important role in decarbonizing both the energy sector and the US economy. Since the residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors all use electricity, decarbonizing utilities – electric power providers – can help reduce emissions throughout the economy.
Decarbonization Index Methodology
For each of the six scales used in the Carbon Removal Index, facilities are scored on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), indicating whether they are consecutive or advanced, respectively. The scores for each scale are based on the range of numbers for each scale divided into five equal groups in which the auxiliaries are located.
For simplicity, let’s assume the lowest total number of reported emissions is zero metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO .).2) and the top 100 metric tons. In this case, companies that emit less than 20 metric tons of CO2 The highest score will be 5. Those that emit 20-40 metric tons of carbon dioxide2 He will get 4, and so on.
The overall decarbonization score for a utility is its average score across the six scales, summarized below:
- fuel mixture:
Share of low-carbon sources (renewables, nuclear, fuel cells) in the utility’s net electricity generation. We have assumed that the share of low carbon sources can range from 0% to 100%, and the results are customized based on this range.
- ko2 Emission intensity:
The amount of carbon dioxide2 emitted per megawatt-hour of electricity generation owned and purchased.
- Total CO2 emissions:
Total absolute carbon dioxide2 Emissions from owned and purchased electricity generation. While this ignores the different sizes of facilities, the rationale is that smaller, unincorporated facilities may find it easier to remove carbon than their larger counterparts.
- ko2 emissions per capita:
The amount of carbon dioxide2 Emitted from electricity generation owned and purchased for each retail customer served in 2020.
- Decarbonization Objectives:
An assessment of the facility’s interim greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets and net zero targets. The baseline for this is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and net emissions by 2050 (utilities with primary targets get a score of 2.5/5).
- low carbon investment
The share of planned capital expenditures (CAPEX) for electricity generation earmarked for low carbon sources. We have assumed that the CAPEX share for low carbon sources can range from 0% to 100%, and scores are assigned based on this range.
Data for these metrics comes from various sources including company sustainability reports, quantitative reporting forms from the Edison Electric Institute, and the Climate Change Survey filing for the Climate Detection Project.
Explore all 6 metrics of the US Decarbonization Index
Download the NPUC Annual Utilities Decarbonization Report for free.
Benefit decarbonization annual index 2022
Before looking at the numbers, it is important to note that the decarbonization index is relative and compares the 30 largest IOUs to each other. Therefore, a score of 5 does not indicate total decarbonization or net zero emissions. Instead, it reports that the tool works well relative to its peers.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the 2022 annual decarbonization index:
|Rank||a company||decarbonization points|
|#1||public service group of companies||4.7|
|# 2||NextEra Energy Resources||4.7|
|# 3||Pacific Gas and Electric Company||4.5|
|#6||Portland General Electric||3.7|
|# 8||Florida Energy and Light||3.6|
|#9||PNM . Resources||3.5|
|# 10||allied energy||3.4|
|No. 11||uniform edison||3.4|
|number 12||Fortis Corporation||3.4|
|#13||American Electric Power||3.3|
|# 14||Energy consumers||3.3|
|# 16||Energy NRG||3.0|
|# 17||Company AES||2.9|
|# 18||Excel Energy||2.9|
|# 19||WEC energy||2.9|
|# 20||DTE energy||2.8|
|No. 21||Duke Energy||2.8|
|No. 23||Trans Alta||2.8|
|#26||Berkshire Hathaway Energy||2.5|
|No. 27||Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company||2.4|
|No. 28||Southern Company||2.3|
|#29||PPL . company||2.2|
|# 30||Vistra Corp.||2.0|
A small number of companies did not report data on certain metrics and were excluded from recording these metrics (referred to as N/A). In such cases, the degree of carbon removal is on average five measures instead of six.
The New Jersey-based Public Service Enterprises Group (PSEG) leads this year’s rankings thanks to its low-emissions profile and ambitious climate goals. The company aims to achieve net zero emissions from operations by 2030 — five years earlier than the Biden administration’s goal and faster than any other facility on the list.
NextEra Energy Resources is associated with PSEG, a clean energy subsidiary of NextEra Energy. The company is the world’s largest producer of solar and wind energy and its generation 97% of net electricity from low carbon sources in 2020.
In third place is Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in third place in California. PG&E recorded the lowest per capita emissions among the top 30 IU at 0.5 metric tons of CO22 per retail customer in 2020. This number is well below the average 11.5 metric tons over 30 IOUs.
Among the top five are Avangrid, a US subsidiary focused on renewables of Spain’s Iberdrola group, and Exelon, the country’s largest utility by number of retail customers. Avangrid was one of the cleanest fuels to mix with 87% Of its net electricity owned comes from low carbon sources. Exelon is the country’s largest provider of zero-emission electricity, electricity generation 157 million megawatt-hours or 86% of its net electricity from nuclear power.
Download the full Decarbonization Report
While the Decarbonization Index provides a look at the current state of decarbonization in facilities, there is much more to reveal in the full report, including:
- Obstacles utilities face in the way of decarbonization
- Detailed data behind the six individual metrics
- ESG Report Card for US Facilities
- Solutions and strategies that can help accelerate decarbonization
>> Click here to download the full report and find out everything you need to know about decarbonizing facilities.
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