natural gas

Duke Energy/Flickr

Every year, Duke Energy submits a plan to state regulators, showing how it will continue to supply power to the Carolinas over the next 15 years. It projects how the energy mix will change, what new power plants the company intends to build—how much will come from solar, wind, or coal. The most recent plan is out, and WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered Host Mark Rumsey for a quick survey of how Duke sees the energy landscape in 2029.

Energy Information Administration (

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas have chosen a builder and route for a new, major interstate natural gas pipeline to run through North Carolina, only the second such pipeline in the state. The first was built in 1951.

Electric utilities and renewable energy developers are facing off this week in front of the North Carolina utilities commission over the price of renewable energy, and how much companies like Duke Energy should have to pay for it. The dispute has drawn in both national environmental organizations and Google.

A state commission developing rules for fracking in North Carolina is asking for a three-month extension to finish the job. Mining and Energy Commission Chairman Jim Womack says commissioners do not need more time to write the rules, but he expects as many as 10,000 public comments about the controversial issue. He says an extra three months will help.

“That means we can take more time to sift through the thousands of public comments that we’re going to receive and, so we can have a more conscious and deliberate response,” says Womack.

North Carolina Utilities Commission

Over the next 15 years, Duke Energy plans to increase how much it relies on renewable energy only modestly—from 1 percent next year to just 2 percent in 2028. The utility is concentrating on natural gas.

This is part of Duke’s annual filing with state regulators, where the utility maps out how it plans to provide energy to North Carolina customers.

Duke Energy has announced it will cancel plans for a new nuclear power plant in Levy County, Florida. With no new energy to show, ratepayers are on the hook for the cost, while Duke’s turned a profit.

Duke Energy

President Obama plans to issue an executive order to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Right now, there is no limit. It could change the mix of energy sources on which North Carolina relies. Coal provides the largest source of the state’s power, including 51 percent in 2011. But, burning coal emits the most carbon-dioxide of the major power sources, so it is most likely to be affected by the order. Other North Carolina businesses could stand to benefit by the scaling back of coal plants.

One of the most contentious questions about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is what companies should be required to disclose about the mix of water and chemicals pumped into the ground during the process. 

U.S. Energy Information Administration

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—for natural gas in shale rock has radically changed the nation’s energy mix. Since the fracking boom began in 2008, the cost of natural gas has plummeted and supply has surged. The technique is banned in North Carolina, but a bill that passed last year and another currently making its way through the legislature would open the door.

Higher Cost of Heating

Dec 13, 2005

(12/13/05) Beginning this week, Charlotte's chief natural gas supplier will be sending residents their first heating bills since colder weather set in several weeks ago. Piedmont Natural Gas and other suppliers are passing along higher costs they're experiencing to customers. WFAE's Scott Graf spoke with Piedmont spokesperson David Trusty about the situation.