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For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Independent study by E3 says accelerated electrification, expanded renewables, and grid investment will be required to support decarbonization
CHICAGO (December 21, 2022) – National sustainability consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3) today released a study that outlines pathways for Illinois to achieve full, economy-wide decarbonization in Illinois by 2050, consistent with the state's pledge as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance to pursue the Paris Agreement. The study accounts for the significant progress expected as a result of the state's Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which aims to decarbonize the power sector and accelerate transportation electrification, as well as the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The study found that, while CEJA and the IRA will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Illinois, more action – particularly in the transportation and buildings sectors – will be needed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Decarbonization refers to the process of lowering GHGs produced by fossil fuel combustion, often through the electrification of transportation, buildings and industry. The study was commissioned by ComEd so the company could better understand the impacts of full decarbonization for the 9 million people it serves and the power grid they depend on for clean, reliable and affordable power.
"As the operator of the largest electric grid in Illinois, we have a critical role in enabling the state's decarbonization goals, and we're committed to making sure the transition to a clean energy economy is affordable and equitable for all of our customers," said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. "All paths to decarbonization will require the electric grid to do more. This report helps us and our partners in Illinois understand the options for getting to a net-zero future, and the considerations we must make in order to ensure all customers maintain access to safe, reliable and resilient power as we continue to address the impacts of climate change."
The independent report was created with input by a technical advisory committee, including: Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Climate Resilience and Decision Science, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), the City of Chicago, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Illinois, and the Accelerate Group.
With the input of the technical advisory committee, E3 conducted an eight-month independent review that builds upon the policies and initiatives set forth in CEJA and the IRA to determine how the state could achieve full decarbonization of the Illinois economy (net-zero emissions) by 2050. The study took into account local considerations, including projected climate and weather changes, as well as Illinois' colder climate conditions, which will require energy storage and back up to maintain system reliability.
Researchers tested three scenarios for transitioning to a net-zero economy:
The study follows recent actions taken by ComEd and partners to better understand what infrastructure improvements will be needed to manage the impacts of climate change and the clean energy transition on customers and the grid. ComEd recently issued a climate adaptation study in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, which provides insight into climate change and associated weather changes and how they may impact the grid.
The full study is available on E3's website.
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ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.