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Despite setting goals to decarbonize their resource mix, many utility pledges amount to little more than “meaningless greenwashing” because power companies are not moving quickly enough to phase out fossil fuels and add clean energy, according to a new report and data set from Sierra Club.
The report grades utility decarbonization efforts based on coal plant retirement schedules, plans to add gas-fired capacity, and clean energy investment. Some utilities with carbon-neutral pledges received a failing grade using Sierra Club’s methodology.
The utility sector defended its approach to the decarbonization process. “The goals we have are a reflection of our current understanding of technology and economics,” said Emily Fisher, senior vice president of clean energy at Edison Electric Institute.