Xcel’s Fowke leads utility’s transition away from coal

first_imgXcel’s Fowke leads utility’s transition away from coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNN Business:Xcel Energy burned coal to generate nearly half its power just a few years ago. Now it’s helping to lead America’s clean energy revolution.The $30 billion Minneapolis-based utility has already shut down a quarter of its coal power plants. And it will soon pull the plug on another quarter.Xcel Energy recently announced an ambitious plan to deliver zero-carbon electricity by 2050, making it the first large American power company to set that challenging goal. “We are leading the industry,” Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke told CNN Business. “It’s a product of what our customers and regulators want.”The transformation of Xcel Energy underscores the rise of renewable energy, driven by a sharp decline in the cost of solar and wind and a desire among Americans for cleaner power.“Technology has come so far. Wind is already beating fossil fuel alternatives — even with low natural gas prices,” Fowke said during an interview from the sidelines of the BloombergNEF Summit in New York. Fowke estimated that Xcel’s wind costs have plummeted by more than two-thirds over the past decade, while solar is down by about 80%.Xcel is rapidly moving away from coal, which supplied 46% of its power of 2013. The utility has been approved by local authorities to retire 23 coal units between 2005 and 2027 — or about half its capacity.More: Xcel Energy was a coal-first power company. Now it’s going carbon-freelast_img

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