Net-Zero Carbon Electricity by 2050
The Power of Working Together
Your community energy company is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. By working together, we can reach our goal of a cleaner, more sustainable future.
In November 2015, MGE introduced our Energy 2030 framework for a more sustainable future, setting a carbon reduction goal of at least 40% (from 2005 levels) by 2030, consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Energy 2030 also established our foundational objectives for building your community energy company for the future.
MGE is on the path toward deep decarbonization, pursuing globally recognized strategies to achieve an ambitious net-zero carbon goal that is consistent with the latest climate science. Since setting our 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets, we have said that if we can go further faster by working together with our customers, we will.
Our carbon reduction goals reflect our vision and signal our direction but do not determine our pace. We're working to achieve deep decarbonization as quickly and as cost-effectively as we can for the benefit of all of those we serve.
At Least 80% Carbon Reduction by 2030
As part of our path toward net-zero carbon electricity, we have set a goal to reduce carbon emissions at least 80% by 2030. A number of factors will help MGE decarbonize our energy supply mix consistent with global climate science as we work toward net-zero carbon electricity.
MGE's ongoing transition away from coal. In early 2021, MGE announced plans to retire the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center about 15 years ahead of schedule. In June 2022, the co-owners of Columbia announced plans to shift the full retirement of Columbia by 18 months to June 2026. The updated timeline addresses the need for capacity as the energy industry, like many industries, experiences supply chain challenges in bringing replacement generation resources online.
Another coal-fired plant in which MGE has minority ownership, the Elm Road Generating Station, plans to transition to natural gas as its primary fuel source. By the end of 2030, MGE expects coal to be used only as a backup fuel, and by the end of 2035, MGE expects to have eliminated coal as an energy source.
To ensure MGE is able to meet the needs of our customers, MGE is replacing the 200 megawatts (MW) of capacity provided by the Columbia plant with significant investment in cleaner renewable generation and proposed investment in 25 MW of capacity from the new, highly efficient West Riverside Energy Center, an existing, state-of-the-art natural gas plant in Beloit, Wis. Natural gas provides MGE with a reliable, lower emission and cost-effective option to ensure continued reliability and to enable our transition from coal-fired generation toward greater use of renewable energy.
More renewable generation. The company continues to transition its energy supply, with the estimated addition of nearly 400 MW of wind, solar and battery storage between 2015 and 2024.
Learn more about how we're growing our use of clean energy and how we're moving away from coal-fired generation to achieve carbon reductions of at least 80% by 2030.
Net-Zero Carbon by 2050
In May 2019, MGE announced its ambitious goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050 consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change October 2018 Special Report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In fall 2020, the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies released its independent analysis of MGE's net-zero carbon goal.
As you'll hear from Dr. Tracey Holloway from the UW-Madison and our CEO
Jeff Keebler in this video, MGE's net-zero carbon goal is consistent with the latest climate science and is in line with or more aggressive than model benchmarks for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
We can meet—or even exceed—our carbon reduction goals by working together. Learn about our deep decarbonization strategies and stay informed by visiting mge2050.com