3 min read 25 May 23
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Ørsted is a global leader in renewable energy production, specialising in onshore and offshore wind. The company has undergone a significant decarbonisation journey in recent years, transforming from one of the most coal-intensive energy businesses in Europe, to a leader in sustainability.
According to the latest IPCC report, we stand no chance of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, and avoiding the worst effects of climate change, without rapid and deep emission reductions from the energy sector. And yet, geopolitical disruption to global energy systems has seen many countries ramp up highly pollutive fossil fuel power generation to ‘keep the lights on’. With global energy demand continuing to rise, renewables capacity must also increase, and we believe companies such as Ørsted will play an essential role.
Ørsted continued to compound its positive impact in 2021 by increasing its renewable power capacity to 13 gigawatts (GW), from 11.3 GW in 2020. With a variety of new facilities either built or currently being developed, including Hornsea 2, the largest offshore wind farm in the world, this figure will continue to grow over the coming years. Ørsted is also exploring technological innovations, including floating wind farms, to further increase renewables capacity. This technology will bring offshore wind power to regions where waters were previously considered too deep for bottom-fixed turbines.
At the same time, Ørsted is taking steps to reduce negative impacts. The manufacturing and transport of components for wind energy releases significant emissions, and so the company has developed a comprehensive strategy to encourage decarbonisation in its supply chain. It is engaging with suppliers to improve emissions disclosures and set science-based emission reduction targets, to increase the use of green electricity, and to optimise vessel fleets. Elsewhere, the company has stated that newly commissioned projects must have a net-positive biodiversity impact.
It is worth mentioning that the Danish government ordered Ørsted to continue or resume operations at three coal and oil power stations last year, to ensure the security of the electricity supply. Two of the facilities had already been decommissioned, while the third was scheduled for March 2023. The units must be kept running until June 2024, however, the company maintains its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.
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