PPL is committed to helping deliver a net-zero carbon future while keeping energy reliable and affordable for our customers and communities. The transition to a clean energy future offers opportunities for us to further reduce our environmental impact, invest in new infrastructure, empower customers with new options, and drive innovation that benefits society and delivers value to our shareowners.
Clean Energy Transition Strategy and Path to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions
PPL has developed a transition strategy to enable us to advance new opportunities for the company and help deliver a net-zero economy by 2050.
Decarbonize Our Generation
- Economically retire coal-fired generation.
- Advance clean power generation and leverage future technologies.
- Maintain reliability and affordability for our Kentucky customers and support state economic development.
Drive Digital Innovation and R&D to Enable New Technologies
- Advance new technologies through research, development and innovation in partnership with industry and research institutions.
Position the Grid as an Enabler for Clean Energy Resources and Drive Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management
- Leverage leading performance across our utilities to expand and modernize the grid and integrate utility scale renewables and distributed energy resources.
- Advance electrification and support adoption of electric vehicles.
- Promoting options to reduce customer energy use.
Decarbonize Our Non-Generation Operations
- Electrify fleet vehicles.
- Reduce emissions associated with our electric and gas use, including increasing renewables consumption for our owned buildings
- Assess operational improvements and investments necessary to maintain fugitive emissions rates at or below industry average across PPL’s utilities, including an assessment of gas distribution system operations.
PPL Corporation Climate Assessment
PPL consistently assesses our climate risk and communicates with our stakeholders for transparency. We continually work toward alignment with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework and recommendations to ensure that we are taking a holistic view of our climate approach to inform our sustainability strategy and identify areas for action.
Our 2021 climate assessment report highlights risks and opportunities associated with climate change, evaluates potential future emissions under multiple scenarios and outlines the company’s strategy and goals to enable a responsible and just transition to a cleaner energy future.
PPL Climate Policy Principles
At PPL, we are committed to our mission to provide safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy to our customers as we pursue our ambitious goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As we transition to a clean energy future, we measure all proposed climate policies against three core principles: Customer Focus, Sustainability, and Effectiveness.
Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
PPL has set an ambitious goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In addition, we are targeting a 70% reduction from 2010 levels by 2035 and an 80% reduction by 2040. This goal covers at least 95% of our Scopes 1 and 2 emissions and also includes Scope 3 emissions associated with our purchased electricity for LG&E and KU customers. We have also committed to not burn unabated coal by 2050.
We continue to make progress toward our goal, and we are on track to achieve our interim targets. Through 2021, we reduced carbon emissions nearly 60% from 2010 levels.
Achieving net-zero emissions across PPL’s operations will require innovation, commitment and collaboration.
We are working to develop one of the most advanced, clean energy-enabling grids in the U.S. at our Pennsylvania operations and transitioning our Kentucky coal-fired generation with an expected 2,000 megawatts of coal plant retirements over the next 15 years and replacement with non-emitting generation.
Decarbonizing our generation fleet
Decarbonizing our generation fleet in Kentucky is a critical component to achieving net-zero emissions. We continue to assess the dynamic energy landscape to identify opportunities to economically support this transition, while maintaining safe, reliable, and affordable service for our customers.
In their October 2021 joint integrated resource plan, LG&E and KU currently project a significant reduction in coal’s contribution to our generation mix: declining from over 80% of the expected electricity produced in 2021 to about half of the total power produced in 2036 due to nearly 2,000 MWs of expected coal plant retirements. The base scenarios show that this electricity would be replaced by a combination of solar, battery storage, and simple-cycle gas units needed for reliability purposes.
Looking beyond the scope of the IRP, current retirement expectations suggest that we would continue to operate approximately 550 megawatts of coal-fired generation in 2050, due to our highly efficient and relatively new Trimble County Unit 2 that started commercial operation in 2011. Consistent with PPL’s commitment to not burn unabated coal by 2050 and our net-zero carbon goal, we are exploring innovative ways through our R&D efforts to economically reduce carbon emissions and transition our generation fleet, while supporting our customers and local communities.
PPL is working to make system enhancements necessary to meet electricity demand over the long term to support electrification efforts, including the adoption of electricity-fueled transportation. We are also reducing our own carbon footprint through electrification of our fleet vehicles.
We are strengthening our commitment to fleet electrification by setting goals on electric vehicle adoption. PPL’s operating companies are electrifying their light, medium and heavy duty fleet vehicles and employing the use of electric lifts on bucket trucks.
In support of efforts to reach economy-wide electrification, PPL joined the Electric Highway Coalition, a partnership of 17 U.S. utilities established to support the development of a seamless network of rapid electric vehicle charging stations connecting major highway systems.
Learn more about our operating companies’ efforts to support EV adoption:
Our Commitment to Research and Development
Achieving net-zero carbon emissions requires advances in clean energy technologies and systems that can be delivered safely, reliably and affordably for those we serve. We continue to invest in clean energy research and development to enable us to meet our net-zero by 2050 goal while driving value for our customers and shareowners.
Energy Impact Partners
PPL has committed to investing up to $50 million across Energy Impact Partner’s global investment platform to help accelerate the shift to a low-carbon future and drive commercial-scale solutions needed to deliver deep, economywide decarbonization.
Low Carbon Resources Initiative
PPL is an anchor sponsor of the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, a joint, five-year effort led by EPRI and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) focusing on identifying, developing and demonstrating affordable pathways to economywide decarbonization. In 2021, PPL President and CEO Vince Sorgi was named chair of LCRI Board Working Group
Battery Storage Pilot Program
At our E.W. Brown Plant, LG&E and KU collaborated with the University of Kentucky on a megawatt-scale carbon capture pilot. At the same site, we are working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on a large-scale energy storage project.
Carbon Capture Study
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E and KU) and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) have launched an innovative partnership to study capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at natural gas combined cycle power plants.
PPL Electric Utilities wins EPRI 2021 Technology Transfer Award
Recognized for application of an adaptive Distribution Protection Assessment Tool (DPAT).
LG&E and KU earn EPRI Technology Transfer Award for R&D advancements
for identification of high-impact electrification technologies to reduce natural gas use and related emissions.