Biden’s Green-Grid Timeline ‘Difficult’, Power Trade Group Says

Source: By Mark Chediak, Bloomberg • Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Biden Administration’s goal of a carbon-free U.S. electricity grid by 2035 would be an “incredibility difficult situation to handle” for most power companies, according to the head of utility trade group Edison Electric Institute.

“We have done some tremendous reduction in carbon emissions, and we will continue to do that,” said Tom Kuhn, president of the institute, during the group’s annual briefing to Wall Street. “There are situations where we have to worry about the reliability and affordability of the system.”

Eliminating emissions from the grid within 15 years is the centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to address climate change and create jobs. The utility industry generally supports Biden’s push for a cleaner grid, Kuhn said, noting that carbon emissions from the sector are at their lowest levels in more than 30 years.

“There will be a lot of discussion around the 2035 date,” he added.

Members of the trade group are on a path to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 compared with 2005 levels, said Brian Wolff, executive vice president of public policy and external affairs at EEI. The trade group will advocate for additional financial support from Congress for technologies that can help utilities get to a zero-carbon grid such as carbon capture and long-duration energy storage, he said.