Advancing New Technologies Needed for Net-Zero Carbon

SHARE THIS STORY

Duke Energy is investing in innovation and technology to better serve customers and produce energy in an affordable, reliable and environmentally beneficial way.

To transition to a net-zero carbon future, the company will need to add new and evolving low- and no-carbon generation technologies that complement our growing portfolio of renewable resources and can be dispatched to help meet peak energy demand – for example, during cold winter mornings when solar power isn’t available.

The use of hydrogen might be part of the equation.

That’s why Duke Energy is teaming up with Siemens Energy and Clemson University to study the use of hydrogen for energy storage and as a low- or no-carbon fuel source to produce energy at the company’s combined heat and power plant in South Carolina.

The study includes research on hydrogen production, storage, co-firing with natural gas and multiple forms of hydrogen production, such as using electrolysis, which produces hydrogen from water and has no byproducts. Hydrogen also has the potential to store larger quantities of energy more efficiently and for longer durations than current lithium-ion battery technology.

Hydrogen integration is a possibility at many of Duke Energy’s natural gas stations, and the company has a proven record of integrating dual-fuel types into existing operations.

Starting in 2016, Duke Energy launched co-firing projects at the Belews Creek Steam Station, Marshall Steam Station and Rogers Energy Complex in North Carolina. In 2021, eight units will have the ability to burn natural gas in addition to coal – rather than coal only – to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions.

Other new technologies besides hydrogen will also be important. We are leaning in to support and evaluate the potential for advanced nuclear; carbon capture, utilization and storage; and long-duration energy storage technologies through efforts like our partnership with TerraPower and GE to demonstrate an advanced nuclear reactor, along with pilots of advanced battery chemistries.

Duke Energy is also a founding member and anchor sponsor of the Electric Power Research Institute/Gas Technology Institute’s Low Carbon Resource Initiative – a five-year industrywide effort to accelerate the development and demonstration of technologies to achieve deep decarbonization.