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Carbon Reducing Solutions and Information

Carbon Reducing Solutions and Information

Learn about ways to help reduce and eliminate carbon emissions.

What are carbon emissions?

“Carbon emissions” is a shorthand way of referring to carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released into the atmosphere during the production of energy. CO2 is the primary man-made greenhouse gas and is directly associated with climate change. There are two key ways to decrease carbon emissions: reducing the amount of energy we use and leveraging carbon-free generation from energy sources such as nuclear, wind, solar and hydro.

Renewable and carbon-free energy sources

Renewable energy sources are naturally replenishing resources that produce no- or low-carbon emissions. Carbon-free sources generate zero carbon emissions but may or may not be naturally replenishing. Learn more about the various sources of renewable and carbon-free energy below.
The primary benefits of using solar energy are the absence of air pollutants and carbon dioxide and the fact that most solar installations have a minimal effect on the environment.

With a combined investment of over $2 billion, by 2024, Duke Energy Florida’s solar generation portfolio will include 25 grid-tied solar power plants, which will benefit all Florida customers and will provide about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation. In the Carolinas, we have more than 4,500 MW of solar capacity connected to its grid – including company-owned and independent projects.

Employee in front of solar panels

Carbon-emitting energy resources

Crude oil, petroleum, natural gas and coal are considered "fossil fuels." When fossil fuels are burned (combusted), oxygen in the air combines with the carbon in the fuel and forms CO2. The heat released from this reaction is used as an energy source. Learn more about the use and impact of fossil fuels below.
Coal is fossil fuel in a solid form and is obtained primarily by mining. Coal plants have helped Duke Energy reliably meet customer needs for more than a century, powering growth and economic development in our local communities. Coal fuel represents about 22% of our generation portfolio.

Duke Energy continues to lead the largest planned coal exit in the country, having retired 7,500 megawatts of coal since 2010. We’re targeting energy from coal to represent less than 5% of our total generation by 2030 and a full exit by 2035, subject to regulatory approvals.
coal yard

What is Duke Energy doing?

We are committed to a future that offers reliable, accessible and affordable clean energy for all customers and areas we serve. Duke Energy has made strong progress in the energy transition. Our 4.5 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina benefit from a diverse, reliable mix of resources and already receive more than half of their energy from nuclear, hydroelectric and solar, making Duke Energy a national leader in carbon-free generation. Learn more by reviewing the Carolinas Carbon Plan.
  • We've reduced carbon emissions from electricity generation to 44% below 2005 levels.

  • We have retired 56 coal units in the last decade.

  • We plan for 30,000 megawatts of renewable energy on the system by 2035.

  • Our near-term goal is to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030.

  • Our ultimate goal is to reach net-zero by 2050.

The Road to Net-Zero

What can you do?

Reducing carbon emissions is going to take everybody. Simple things that you can do in your home and community like making your home more energy efficient, shifting your energy use and choosing renewable energy generation will all positively contribute to reducing carbon emissions. Here are a couple of programs and tools to get you started.

Energy & carbon use & analysis

  • Prepaid Advantage

    Prepay for your power. Choose when and how you manage and pay for your energy use before you use it.

  • Flex Savings Option Rate

    You can shift your electricity use to lower demand times and help reduce the need to use higher-carbon-emitting sources.

  • Home Energy Report

    See how your home uses energy and how you compare to similar homes. Get personalized tips to help reduce your energy usage.

  • Home Energy House Call

    Sign up for a free home energy assessment, get tips on reducing energy use and receive a free efficiency starter kit.

  • Usage Alerts

    You can set your own energy reduction goals and get notifications about your energy use to help stay on budget and in control.

  • Renewable Energy Options

    Discover a variety of Duke Energy programs that will help you meet your own carbon reduction goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources: Duke Energy proprietary information and