MGE Announces Goal of Net-Zero Carbon Electricity by 2050
"We believe it is important to articulate a long-term goal that is both visionary and based on the best climate science available," CEO says.
Madison, Wis., May 14, 2019—Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) today set a new goal of net-zero carbon electricity for its customers by 2050, said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO.
"In creating an energy future for our customers and shareholders, we need ambitious and crucial reductions in carbon emissions that align with the work of the scientific community, specifically the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its assessment of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050," Keebler said.
MGE already has been on a path to reduce carbon, having reduced carbon dioxide emissions 23% since 2005 and targeting carbon reductions of at least 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels.
- MGE has set goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050.
- Goal aligns with IPCC Report to limit global temperature increases to 1.5° C.
- MGE already has been on path to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050.
- Company will work with the UW-Madison to ensure MGE's goal is consistent with IPCC assessment and latest climate science.
"Since introducing our carbon reduction targets, we have always said that if we can go further faster by working with our customers we will. We believe it is important to articulate a long-term goal that is both visionary and based on the best climate science available. Our net-zero carbon goal is aggressive, and it will require technologies not yet commercially available or cost-effective, but it is where we need to be," Keebler said.
MGE's mission continues to be safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity for all customers. Through the application of science and investment in the technologies of today and tomorrow, the company will continue to fulfill its mission.
Climate science partnership
MGE also announced it will be working with scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences to help evaluate the company's net-zero carbon goal in the context of the analyses done by the IPCC. The university will provide expert input and perspective to ensure MGE's goal is consistent with the IPCC assessment.
In 2015, the company announced its Energy 2030 framework, which was informed by community input and laid out its foundational objectives for building your community energy company for the future:
- Provide customers with options they want today and in the future,
- Help customers use energy efficiently and control future costs for all customers,
- Transition MGE to a more environmentally sustainable energy supply,
- Provide a dynamic electric grid that can integrate all energy technologies to serve customers, and
- Ensure that new and changing technology serves all customers equitably.
"These remain our objectives as we continue to build customer and shareholder value on our path to deep decarbonization," Keebler said. "As your community energy company, MGE has a history of engaging our customers and communities. We actively continue work to deepen that engagement to achieve our goals. Our net-zero carbon goal is a reflection of our commitment not only to long-term sustainability, rooted in the latest climate science, but also a reflection of our commitment to our customers and communities."
Key strategies for deep decarbonization include reducing the carbon intensity in electricity generation through adding significant new renewable energy resources and reducing the use of fossil fuels; continued work to help customers with energy efficiency; and electrification, including transportation.
"We are excited about our path, our progress and our ultimate vision. To us, this is what it means to lead and to serve," said Keebler.
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 153,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 161,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.