DTE leans on natural gas, renewables to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 🔓

DTE Energy on Tuesday announced plans to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 80% by 2050, including adding 3,500 megawatts (MW) of natural gas-fired capacity, and 6,000 MW of renewables.

“Over the past two years, we have studied the engineering and economics of Michigan’s energy future very, very carefully,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE chairman and CEO. “We have concluded that not only is the 80% reduction goal achievable – it is achievable in a way that keeps Michigan’s power affordable and reliable.

The Detroit, Mich.-based electric/natural gas utility will achieve the reduction by incorporating substantially more renewable energy, transitioning its 24/7 power sources from coal to natural gas, continuing to operate its zero-emission Fermi 2 nuclear power plant, and strengthening options for customers to save energy and reduce bills.

These plans define a long-term shift by DTE to produce over 75% of its power from renewable energy and natural gas-fired power plants.

DTE’s plans include:

* Construction of an additional 6,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, supplementing the 1,000 MW of renewable energy DTE has built since 2009

* The addition of 3,500 MW of natural gas-fired energy capacity to supply 24/7 power and ensure reliability

* The steady retirement of the company’s coal-fired plants, which continued in 2016 with the announced shutdown of 11 coal units by the early 2020s

* The investment of $5 billion over the next five years to modernize the electric grid and gas infrastructure.