By Ross Kerber
BOSTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Top U.S. utility Duke Energy Corp DUK.N plans billions of dollars of new spending this decade as it ramps up efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, executives told Reuters.
The move comes amid growing pressure from Democratic politicians and activist investors for power producers to reduce their hefty contribution to climate change.
“If you’re going to pursue the more aggressive carbon-reduction targets, you’re going to retire coal earlier, you’re going to be replacing it earlier with renewables, batteries, storage etcetera,” said Duke Chief Financial Officer Steve Young in an interview.
“That pushes up the capital profile,” he said.
According to Young and to an investor presentation to be made on Friday, Duke will boost projected capital spending by $2 billion to $58 billion for the period from 2020 to 2024, and projects a capital plan “in the range of $65 billion