Southern Company Commits to Net-Zero Carbon by 2050
At its annual stockholder meeting last week, Southern Co. announced its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This is an aggressive goal from one of the largest electricity producers in the U.S. and the largest wholesale provider in the Southeast.
There’s been quite a stir in the wake of this announcement with several articles discussing the implications. I’ve been following some of the social media comments on this over the past week, and it’s interesting to see groups pat each other on the back for their efforts to put pressure on Southern Co. to make this commitment. However, Southern Co. wouldn’t be in the position to set this goal had it not been for three key factors.
Nuclear, natural gas, carbon capture and storage, renewables, afforestation–It remains to be seen how Southern Company will reach this goal while maintaining gird reliability, which is their bottom line, and keeping rates low, which is a key objective. Nonetheless, they’re to be commended for being so bold.
However, I think they’ll need more nuclear capacity to pull it off–and, given the progress we’re making in advanced nuclear reactor development, that would be welcome news.