Workshop Recordings and Feedback

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Thank you for joining us for Pathways to Decarbonization – Energy Portfolio Workshops.

The comment period from Workshop 6: Final Results was through Dec. 17, 2021 and is now closed. However, if you have questions or comments about the Pathways to Decarbonization initiative, please click here.

A recording of the workshop is available here. The slides can be found here.

For more information about the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan, please click here.


Previous Workshops

We have hosted 6 workshops and an Interim Modeling Update. We recommend attending or watching the workshops in order as they build off each other. A summary video of past workshops is also available. This video highlights the content covered in the six workshops.

Workshop 1: Decarbonization Pathways Planning 101 held April 7, 2021

Workshop 2: Multi-Sectorial Modeling held April 28, 2021

Workshop 3: Developing Key Assumptions & Scenarios held May 12, 2021

Workshop 4: Developing Modeling Approach held May 26, 2021

Interim Modeling Update held August 4, 2021

Workshop 5: Initial Results held October 27, 2021

Workshop 6: Final Results held December 9, 2021

We also held an engagement session update about the Customer and Community workstream on Sept. 2, more details about that event and the recording can be found here. Additional information including Glossary of Terms and Pre-Read Materials for Workshop 3 and 4 are located in Documents on this page.


Data Release

OPPD released a detailed set of assumptions. The data release is located in Documents on this page. Feedback for the data release is now closed.


Thank you for joining us for Pathways to Decarbonization – Energy Portfolio Workshops.

The comment period from Workshop 6: Final Results was through Dec. 17, 2021 and is now closed. However, if you have questions or comments about the Pathways to Decarbonization initiative, please click here.

A recording of the workshop is available here. The slides can be found here.

For more information about the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan, please click here.


Previous Workshops

We have hosted 6 workshops and an Interim Modeling Update. We recommend attending or watching the workshops in order as they build off each other. A summary video of past workshops is also available. This video highlights the content covered in the six workshops.

Workshop 1: Decarbonization Pathways Planning 101 held April 7, 2021

Workshop 2: Multi-Sectorial Modeling held April 28, 2021

Workshop 3: Developing Key Assumptions & Scenarios held May 12, 2021

Workshop 4: Developing Modeling Approach held May 26, 2021

Interim Modeling Update held August 4, 2021

Workshop 5: Initial Results held October 27, 2021

Workshop 6: Final Results held December 9, 2021

We also held an engagement session update about the Customer and Community workstream on Sept. 2, more details about that event and the recording can be found here. Additional information including Glossary of Terms and Pre-Read Materials for Workshop 3 and 4 are located in Documents on this page.


Data Release

OPPD released a detailed set of assumptions. The data release is located in Documents on this page. Feedback for the data release is now closed.


Guestbook

OPPD accepted comments on the Final Results through Friday, Dec. 17. (Previous comments were received from the first five workshops and the June 18 Data Release, and August Interim Modeling Update). 

CLOSED: Feedback from Workshop 6 is now closed.

The quantity of affordable natural gas available to OPPD may decline much sooner than predicted during Workshop #5.
See the article titled: The US shale revolution has surrendered to reality
Excerpt: "Investors are not interested in losing more money on any U.S. shale. The latest survey of oil and gas companies by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas makes that very clear: “We have relationships with approximately 400 institutional investors and close relationships with 100. Approximately one is willing to give new capital to oil and gas investment. The story is the same for public companies and international exploration.”
https://www.nationofchange.org/2021/07/19/the-us-shale-revolution-has-surrendered-to-reality/

Exploration and Production companies have been drilling in the most productive shale areas, where production from the average well declines more than 85% during the first 3 years. Future drilling will be done in less productive areas where annual production declines will be even faster.

NOTE: Production of natural gas from conventional (non-shale) wells has been declining for many years.

Jon 9 months ago

Key terms in the Workshop #5 discussion appear to have shifted from the way they were used at the beginning of this process. Treating gas generation emissions as offset through renewable exports is not “net zero” for 2050 and in violation of the board’s directive. “Real” net zero requires any GHG emissions be offset through negative emissions, e.g. carbon capture and storage, so that there is no net contribution to global GHG levels by OPPD. “Absolute zero” would mean no GHG emissions from OPPD production at all, or in Mr. Ming’s words during the workshop “any type of offset at all.”

To claim that paths treating renewable exports as offsets in 2050 and absolute zero paths “both result in the same amount of total GHG emissions” seems to assume that other utilities in our market will fail to meet the goal of net zero by 2050, which while possible, is not an assumption it is ethical to make in our preparations. Treating exports in 2050 as equivalent to negative emissions is a dangerously misleading claim of equivalence in relation to climate impacts and it represents planning to fail in OPPD’s net zero goal.

The net zero by 2035 pathway should be adopted to help OPPD prepare for a potential price on carbon and to meet with international bodies such as the IPPC and IEA’s announced imperatives for electrical sectors in advanced economies to reach global net zero by 2050. The prevented emissions if we adopt the 2035 path relative to the moderated 2050 path, 103 MMT, would be equivalent to the annual total carbon footprint of about 6.5 million average US citizens or around twice that of the poorest 30 million people in South Africa.

Costs are not simply “in the eye of the beholder” but have real concrete meaning in relation to different populations ability to pay to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We need to use the decarbonization planning process to ensure affordable bills for Nebraskans through targeted programs and to do our part to make sure we all pay our fair share in maintaining a livable future, not only for people vulnerable to climate impacts here in Nebraska but around the world. We cannot just externalize those real environmental costs onto the vulnerable, nor expect those without the economic resources to pay for the necessary transition. Even the scenario of meeting absolute zero without emerging technologies, which Mr. Burdick described as “not economically feasible” is far more economically feasible than paying the economic consequences of failing to meet the emissions reductions science tells us is necessary to mitigate climate change. When considering externalized environmental costs as well as the difference in economic costs, the 2035 path seems the clear choice.

Ryan Wishart 9 months ago

Our family goes out of its way to limit our carbon footprint and feel it is the least OPPD could do. We strongly feel that 2035 is enough time to shoot for net zero carbon emissions. It may be too late already sow hat are you waiting for?!

csherwin 9 months ago

I am highly in support of net zero by 2035 goal

Laura Komenda 9 months ago

I fully support the goal of net zero by 2035. Achieving net zero as soon as possible is critical for the health of our planet and to minimize the effects on human health. Furthermore, as a student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, achieving net zero by 2035 would better align with and support our campus net zero building emission goal by 2030.

orpaetz 9 months ago

Thank you to OPPD board for setting the decarbonization goal by 2050 and pushing for this public decarbonization workshop series. I am glad that the team included models for net zero by 2035, as OPPD really should be reducing our GHG emissions before 2050. I appreciate the commitment to energy efficiency (EE) included in the model as it is much more than what is happening now, and I'm excited to see OPPD drive this increased EE with on-bill inclusive financing (eg Pay As You Save) along with additional incentives and programs that ensure diverse customers have access to these upgrades and savings. It looks like demand response is included in capacity, but it pretty small piece of capacity in 2050. I also only see small amount of customer-owned distributed energy resources (DERs). It seems like there could be more demand response and along with EE and customer-owned DERs and that these could help lower costs and help us get to zero GHG emissions sooner. A good reference on this is the Local Solar for All roadmap: https://www.localsolarforall.org/roadmap Another benefit of EE, demand response, and DERs is that customer-owners of OPPD become active participants in reducing emissions and get to receive benefits of more comfortable homes and lower bills. I was impressed at the relatively low cost of getting to net zero by 2035 versus business as usual, and I want to reiterate support for a zero emission goal by 2035. Thank you to the board & staff, and I look forward to continuing to engage in this process.

LizVeazey 9 months ago

Initial results from OPPD's decarbonization study clearly indicate that decarbonization is not only possible, but achievable at reasonable cost either by 2050 or 2035. The reasons for choosing 2035 over 2050 are many, but boil down to providing significant benefits for a small additional cost. Addressing climate change sooner rather than later greatly reduces the costs that result from destabilized weather systems.

Another result shows that providing large amounts of wind and solar generating capacity, in the near term, would be a "no regrets" policy that would not result in stranded assets. One concern with solar and wind capacity is what to do with the oversupply during high renewables periods. The study seems to propose exporting renewables as a path to net zero. However, when OPPD is experiencing weather conditions that maximize production, much of the rest of SPP will be also, so there may be little demand at those times. Another path to net zero would be direct air capture using oversupply as an energy source. If OPPD co-located direct capture facilities with renewable generation facilities, and only ran them during oversupply, it could minimize transmission requirements and use the combination to stabilize the grid too.

Alan V 9 months ago

I think it would be the optimum act OPPD could take to decarbonize by 2035. OPPD would be a national leader to do so and set an example for other electricity districts. The planet is in crisis. If we don't do all that we can NOW to counteract climate change, the weather extremes and resulting disastrous and astronomically expensive costs will only increase. Whatever the cost now to decarbonize will be small in comparison to rectify and repair disasters caused by extreme weather. Please set on the pathway to decarbonize by 2035.

adduey2015 9 months ago

Thank you for your work in looking out for our health as you provide us electricity. I live in the inner-city where we have been disproportionately effected by lead and other pollution, some of which likely came from the coal generation plant in North Omaha. Please cut all fossil fuel generation by 2035, even if it raises electric costs. Thank you. Mary Ann Krzemien

Don Preister 9 months ago

Thank you for taking my comments, the presentation, slides, and all the work to get to this point. I support a goal of net-zero by 2035. 1) There appears to be a minimal GENERATION cost incurred to achieve net zero by 2035; 2) according to the presentation, OPPD can achieve this goal with mostly “off-the-shelf” technologies. With energy storage currently on the same price trajectory as solar PV was 10 years ago, this appears quite achievable from a generation cost perspective; 2) This roughly 1% rate increase pales compared to the increased costs we will occur in the same time frame due to climate change impact from flooding (2019 floods), serve weather events (losing power for >1 day and having to throw away refrigerator full of food will come close to a break even with the rate increase over the same time w/o the hassle), increased insurance rates, property damage repairs, public health impacts, etc. This is as close to a “no-brainer” as possible; 3) waiting to after 2030 to repower coal capacity (slide 46) may be more difficult than imagine as solar and wind manufacturers and installers will be swamped with work from other, slower transitioning utilities leading to a bottleneck in installations. Prices will rise, quality will decrease. Getting ahead of the transition curve will benefit customer-owners. Furthermore, if OPPD hits a road bump, and can’t achieve net-zero 2035 b/c they simply can’t hire enough contractors or installers, or can’t implement enough energy efficiency, etc., then it could transition to a carbon price or net-zero accelerate model. Not ideal, but acceptable. By “going big initially”, OPPD has more flexibility. Conversely, you can’t do this by following the net-zero baseline (2050).
I’d also like to remind everybody that this study: 1) is limited to generation costs. To achieve any of these net-zero models, significant transmission improvements (and costs) will have to occur by 2035 or 2050. These transmission (i.e. going to a “SMART GRID” or more accurately advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) costs will be MUCH higher than the generation costs; 2) this study did not include DER (Distributed energy resources) which will SIGNIFICANTLY increase in OPPD’s district during this same timeframe; 3) This study assumes a significantly large amount of energy efficiency, which I don’t think is possible. If you follow the energy star appliance energy savings over time, you see significant decreases in most appliances. Refrigerators, for example, are about as energy efficient as they can be without making them smaller, which the market won’t accept. Over the past decade, we have moved lighting from energy hogs (incandescent) to energy sippers (LED). These large pockets of energy savings are harder and harder to find. Furthermore, energy savings from buildings require significant changes to building codes, greater enforcement of building codes, changes in attitudes of renters and home buyers, developers, facility managers, etc. These changes are outside the control of OPPD. In addition, the last two building code changes in Omaha, OPPD was asked, begged, to take a stand and support more energy efficient codes. OPPD did not. Ditto with LB405 in 2018 in the state legislature. None of these pathways will be achievable without OPPD more publicly supporting energy efficiency. Telling people to get a new heat pump and only offering $250 ain’t going to do it.

davidholtzclaw 9 months ago

As customers/owners, many of us are hoping for decarbonization ASAP, so 2035 should be the goal. To reach its goal, OPPD says there must be significant economy-wide efficiency gains. One way to drive that in the marketplace is by OPPD supporting a price on carbon, which will be a pricing signal to the market to move away from fossil fuels and will incentivize and speed energy innovation, from which OPPD can benefit. As part of your pathway to decarbonization, I'd like to see OPPD urge our Nebraska congressional delegation to support federal carbon pricing economy-wide.

Thanks, OPPD, for all this work and for seeking public comment.

Tracy Stanko 9 months ago

The current UN Climate Summit is discussing the global carbon threat. The planet and human survival depend upon decarbonization by 2035: This “Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector” https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050 from May of 2021, says that the advanced economies electricity utilities need to be Net Zero by 2035 to meet a global Net-Zero goal of 2050. We must limit warming to 1.5 degrees. My priorities are: 1. Energy Efficiency is the top priority to be pursued aggressively across the district with incentives and education. 2. Decentralization of generation is essential, so OPPD moves to energy management and away from being a generator. 3. Support advancement of emerging magnetic energy generation, that minimizes costly infrastructure. Magnets push and they pull with a great deal of force, with no rest or refresh time, no degradation, no risky side effects and no fuel. Put them together in an array where they will push and pull against each other to spin whatever size generation wheel you wish – until the end of time! All you have to do is oil the bearings occasionally. 4. Maximize new wind and solar generation. Wind & sun are not always available, but fossil fuels ALWAYS add carbon and other environmental damage. 5. For balance in cost assessment, add all externalities costs in, as offsets--health care & environmental cleanup, like NDEE Fish Consumption Advisories in NE water bodies. Educate the public on these hidden, shifted fossil fuel costs. 6. Nuclear has been a dangerous, failed system. The Federally established Compact system cost millions (billions nationally?) of rate payers dollars before collapsing. Yucca Mountain storage of radioactive waste, created a huge, expensive tunnel that will never be used as intended. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Japan are reminders of the disasters that await. Only Nuclear industry folks, who stand to personally gain, see promise in reviving a costly, dangerous, dead industry. And 7. Review 1 and 3 above for emphasis. Thank you!

Don Preister 9 months ago

Thank you for accepting public comment on your initial results for the Decarbonization Pathways. Please know that I as a home owner and community member fully support raising rates to decarbonize OPPD's energy grid. I understand that some financial challenges may be laid at the feet of those with fixed or lower incomes. Please consider taking this action and applying financial policies so that those households can keep their dignity and the efforts of their labor.

I believe the cost incurred by most of the community will be repaid hundreds of times over if we can prevent average global temps from rising above 1.5C. My household believes this is the most pressing issue facing our city, our state, our country, and humanity as a whole.

The rest of this comment is what was suggested to me by our restoring creation group from our church.

Significant Takeaway:
There appears to be a minimal cost incurred to achieve net zero by 2035 as opposed to 2050. Comparing the increase of climate change costs and the distress that Nebraskans are likely to experience over the next 14 years, this increase appears to be a small amount to pay. (Look at costs from the 2019 floods, from this summer’s torrential rains and winds, impaired air from wildfires etc. All of these threats and resulting costs are expected to continue to rise.)

OPPD should achieve a goal of Net Zero by 2035. The E3 study noted that OPPD can reach net zero by 2035 with existing technologies with just over 1% per year increase for rates. Recent OPPD Board elections have demonstrated that OPPD’s customer/owners want to see OPPD move rapidly to a clean energy mix.

To protect those customer/owners that are disproportionately impacted, OPPD could address this through adjusted rate structures. Another policy that would serve as a catalyst to achieve this goal and protect these same customer/owners from rate increases would be to support a carbon cashback payment with a national carbon tax.

jkomenda 9 months ago

Thank you for accepting public comment.
There appears to be a minimal cost incurred to achieve net zero by 2035 as opposed to 2050. Comparing the increase of climate change costs and the distress that Nebraskans are likely to experience over the next 14 years, this increase appears to be a small amount to pay.

OPPD should achieve a goal of Net Zero by 2035. The E3 study noted that OPPD can reach net zero by 2035 with existing technologies with just over 1% per year increase for rates. Recent OPPD Board elections have demonstrated that OPPD’s customer/owners want to see OPPD move rapidly to a clean energy mix.

To protect those customer/owners that are disproportionately impacted, OPPD could address this through adjusted rate structures. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing your decision.

blueboathome 9 months ago

There is no more pressing matter than to achieve the largest, most robust reduction in carbon/fossil fuel usage in the shortest timeframe possible. A 1% rate increase is minuscule in comparison to the enormous and catastrophic climate effects of a slower reduction. 2035 should be the goal. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion.

admwgn 9 months ago

I’m 100 percent in favor of decarbonization, ASAP.

Thank you OPPD for looking out for the health of people in our area, and worldwide. Omaha is in a position to become a real leader in decarbonization, for minimal financial cost. Let’s take it!

Morgan Rye-Craft 9 months ago

I support your efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2035. If this means a 1% increase in rates I am totally in favor. That is a no brained for me. I believe this is an urgent need.
Thank you for your efforts. I pray it works
Donna Bresley

Marksdonna 9 months ago

I am in support of net zero by 2035.

MGUINAN 9 months ago

Special thanks to Aaron Burdick for the good work on carbon pricing, which would speed up the end of OPPD’s use of coal by 10 years.

And thanks to OPPD’s many contributors for the detailed understanding you have provided ordinary citizens about decarbonization. I will be paying close attention to how your choices can be affected by promising storage technologies such as hydrogen (the green kind), and promising public policies like carbon pricing.

I also hope you will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2035.

There are many reasons why OPPD should decarbonize sooner than 2050. One that should get more attention is the health consequences to Nebraskans of burning fossil fuels in Nebraska. A recent study estimates that burning fossil fuels causes 8.7 million additional deaths globally every year https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2021/02/10/600746.htm.

To put that into perspective, this is more lives lost in one year than all the known deaths from covid (5 million as of this writing) since the pandemic began. Covid is often cited as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Nebraskans will live longer when we are not burning fossil fuels.

francesmendenhall 9 months ago

I want to see net 0 before 2035, and totally phase out nuclear. We must be involved with doing our part.

Nancysgardens 9 months ago
Page last updated: 04 Feb 2022, 04:26 PM