NextEra Energy Inc., the largest U.S. utility by market cap and one of the world’s top solar and wind power producers, has been called out for never declaring a net-zero emissions target like many other major power utilities have done.
But the way NextEra’s Chairman and CEO Jim Robo views such goals explains why the Florida energy giant has resisted jumping on the net-zero bandwagon: He thinks the targets are “disingenuous.”
“Right, go plant some trees and we get to net-zero, or we’ll get to net-zero as long as the technology works for carbon capture,” Robo said during S&P Global Sustainable 1’s’ Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability virtual conference on May 26. “But the reality is that carbon capture technology doesn’t work and you’re not going to come up with a magic small reactor that will be cheap enough.”
“So I think it’s very disingenuous for a lot of folks in our sector to come out with net-zero commitments when they don’t really have a view to get to what I call ‘real zero,'” Robo asserted.
NextEra has said it expects to reduce its carbon emission intensity by 67% by 2025 from 2005 levels, which would be about a 40% cut in absolute emissions.