Duke Energy's Views
Air emissions from coal-fired power plants continue to be a high-profile public policy issue. A primary focus is on emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and mercury.
Duke Energy has invested more than $7 billion since 1998 in controls to reduce our NOx, SO2 and mercury emissions. The SO2 and NOx controls (scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction) we’ve installed have the co-benefit of capturing a significant amount of mercury. While we’re still in the process of understanding how much mercury will be removed by these control devices on a consistent basis, we currently estimate reductions in mercury from these devices to be between 60 percent and 85 percent.
Duke Energy expects that its emissions of NOx, SO2, and mercury will continue to decrease in future years as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalizes new rules that will require additional emission reductions from the electric utility sector, and as Duke Energy begins to retire a significant number of its older coal-fired generating units.