Alex Glenn, CEO of Duke Energy Florida and Midwest took the keynote stage at POWERGEN International last month and spoke about the challenge of net-zero.

He then spoke with Clarion Energy’s own Jenn Runyon backstage.

“I would say our greatest challenge is also our greatest opportunity,” Glenn said, on how the energy sector can transform its generating sources and grid to meet net-zero goals.

Duke Energy’s own goal is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. In its climate report from October 2022, the company noted it also has an interim target of 80% emission reductions from 2005 levels by 2040.

Glenn noted four important keys to success: Maintaining 24/7 reliability for customers, technology and supply chain improvements, affordability, and engaging the support of stakeholders who may have different views.

“It’s an exciting time to be in our business, and I’m looking forward to the next ten years which are going to be changing dramatically for our industry,” Glenn told Runyon backstage.


On the keynote stage, Glenn told POWERGEN attendees Duke expects to rely on zero-emission load following resources, which haven’t been commercialized yet. He mentioned that hydrogen and nuclear power breakthroughs look like potential promising solutions.

“We, in this room, have to figure this out,” he told attendees.

“My ask of you today is three things,” he said, challenging attendees to think about the following: “‘How do I fit into this transformation?  How am I going to contribute and where am I going to start to change the world?’’

Duke Energy plans to add 30 GW of renewables by 2035 and be out of coal production by 2035.

The utility has said continuing to operate existing nuclear generation and adding new small modular reactors (SMR) are essential to maintaining emission reduction progress and achieving net-zero goals.  

In its report the company touted a solar to 100% green hydrogen-capable combustion turbine in Florida, with the goal to be operational by 2024. Duke Energy not provide more details on the project.

Duke Energy is also partnering with Clemson University and Siemens Energy to potentially produce, store and co-fire hydrogen at the utility’s CHP plant on Clemson’s campus.

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