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AEP Releases Climate Scenario Analysis

by on March 23, 2021

American Electric Power has released its Climate Scenario Analysis, a report that examines the impacts of climate change on the company’s operations, as well as the potential implications of the transition to a clean energy economy.

In February, AEP announced a new goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with an interim target to cut emissions 80% from 2000 levels by 2030. AEP plans to add more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable resources to its generation portfolio by 2030 and is investing in a smarter, more modern power grid and new energy technologies to help reach these goals.

In the last decade, AEP has retired or sold nearly 13,500 MW of coal-fueled generation and expects to reduce coal capacity by an additional 5,600 MW by 2030, creating opportunities to replace generation with low- or no-carbon resources. The company also is focused on enhancing the electric delivery system to accelerate the adoption of efficient, cost-effective clean energy.

AEP’s Climate Scenario Analysis report is aligned with the Task Force for the Climate-related Financial Disclosure framework and includes three focus areas: transition risk, physical risks and the socio-economic impact of coal plant retirements. The company examined prospective technologies and resources needed to produce a clean energy future, while also assessing potential costs to customers and market response.

“At AEP, we’re committed to making the energy we provide as clean as possible, as fast as we can, all without compromising reliability, affordability, or the security of the electric power system,” said Nick Akins, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our most recent analysis of climate-related risks and opportunities created new awareness and will inform our strategic planning and decision-making as we go forward.”

AEP modeled two scenarios to assess the transition – standard operations and a faster, more aggressive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis showed the company is on a path reduce carbon emissions more than 90% by the mid-2030s and provided insights into the steps necessary to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The report also analyzed the physical risks of climate change and explored how fluctuations in temperature, precipitation amounts, increased frequency and intensity of severe weather and other factors caused by climate change could influence both its competitive and regulated operations. AEP’s analysis showed the company’s efforts to invest in infrastructure and improve the reliability and resiliency of the energy grid are essential to overcome the challenges presented by climate change.

The analysis examines the social and economic effects of retiring coal-fired power plants. AEP conducted an economic impact analysis by modeling the hypothetical closure of four active coal units to quantify the effects of a plant retirement on regional employment, labor income and gross domestic product. To help mitigate the impacts of plant closures, AEP will continue providing advanced notice of plant retirements. The company is committed to supporting employees in finding other employment within the company or as they reenter the job market, and working with community leaders to address other aspects of plant retirements.

Learn more about AEP’s efforts to build a clean energy future with its customers.

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