PPL sets 70% carbon reduction goal, reflecting shareholder concerns
It’s been eight months since PPL shareholders voted in favor of a non-binding proposal that calls for the company to take a hard look at how climate change and emissions issues could impact the business. Since then, the company has developed emissions reductions goals and said it expects most of its coal fleet to be mothballed by 2050.
Investor focus on climate change policy has been growing in recent years, and the PPL vote last year was reportedly the first in the power sector.
Now the company is targeting a 70% reduction by 2050, more than three decades away. But PPL’s Kentucky utility companies own power plants, with coal making up more than 60% of their generation in 2016. PPL says it “will likely economically retire the bulk of their coal-fired units.” About 10% may remain online.
In the last eight years, PPL has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by nearly half, in part due to the sale of almost 4,000 MW of coal-fired generation owned by its competitive generation business, while retiring an additional 900 MW. Much of that has been replaced with natural gas.