Another sign that zero-carbon energy is going viral. 100% clean. Shutterstock The energy world got some big news on Tuesday: Xcel Energy, one of the biggest utilities in the US , has committed to going completely carbon-free by 2050 (and 80 percent carbon-free by 2030). Xcel, based in Minneapolis, serves 3.6 million customers across eight states — Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Its CEO, Ben Fowke, is part of the leadership at the Edison Electric Institute , the main utility trade group. It is the first major US utility to pledge to go completely carbon-free. So make no mistake: This is industry-shaking news. Greater ambition is in Xcel’s political and economic interests Xcel has been a leader on clean energy for a while. According to the company, it has reduced its carbon emissions by 35 percent since 2005. Earlier this year, it announced plans to, by 2030, reduce carbon emissions 60 percent (from 2005 levels), increase the level of renewable energy in its fleet to 55 percent, and shut down 50 percent of its coal capacity — in the state of Colorado. Those goals were enough to win the company Utility Dive’s […]

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