Climate Change & The Environment
As one of the largest electric utilities in the United States and a large consumer of fossil fuels, we know the impact our operations have on the environment. Climate change may be one of the most significant sustainability issues for AEP and one of our most challenging.
Our position on climate change remains unchanged: We believe it is a global issue that requires a global solution. Today there are no mandates to drive new investments in technologies that address carbon dioxide emissions. Consequently, we can only focus on what we can change and can afford.
Balancing Our Mix of Fossil Fuels
In 2011, we consumed:
- 65 million tons of coal, representing around 67% of our total generating capacity
- 167 billion cubic feet of natural gas, representing around 24% of our generating capacity
As we reposition for a competitive future, our use of coal will decrease as our use of natural gas increases. The remainder of our generating capacity will consist of nuclear, hydro, and renewables along with energy efficiency and demand response programs. By 2026, we project our coal generating capacity to drop to 43 percent while natural gas capacity increases to 36%.
How We're Addressing Climate Change
Although we'll remain a large consumer of fossil fuels, the changes we're making will further reduce our future carbon dioxide emissions. Our goal for 2020 is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 10% from 2010 levels.
We've been proactive in supporting a number of climate change initiatives in the public policy arena. And, we've made significant investments in clean coal technologies such as carbon capture and storage. At the same time, we continue to increase our use of renewable resources such as wind and solar, and we've ramped up energy efficiency and demand response programs where there has been regulatory support.
Our Collaborative Efforts
Arriving at a reasonable, achievable solution requires collaboration between companies, governments, nations, environmental groups and other stakeholders. Through our involvement with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we work with electric utilities from around the world to develop a roadmap to guide new technology development and deployment, identify the need for new policies, and recommend individual solutions.
For more detailed information, refer to the Climate Change discussion in our Corporate Accountability Report.