Generation
and operations

Building more renewable energy capacity

  

Our build-out of renewables brings clean power to millions of people and is a key driver in our decarbonisation. We’re also phasing out coal completely in energy generation and aiming for carbon-neutral offshore logistics.

 

With a 30% market share, Ørsted is the world leader in offshore wind, and we continue to bring renewable energy to new markets across continents. 

In 2019, our energy generation from renewable energy sources accounted for 85% of our total energy generation. Increasing our renewables share makes our energy generation less carbon-intensive as it reduces the carbon emissions per unit of energy produced.

By the end of 2019, we had installed a capacity of 6.8GW offshore wind, 3.0GW offshore wind under construction, and a further 5.0GW of awarded offshore wind capacity. In total, this brings us close to our target of 15GW by 2025, enough to power more than 30 million people.

We’ve established a significant presence in North American onshore renewables, with 2.1GW in operation or under construction, including 1.7GW onshore wind, 420MW solar PV, and 40MW energy storage. By 2025, we aim to have 5GW of onshore wind and solar in our portfolio.

By 2030, we aim to reach more than 30GW of installed capacity across renewable technologies and geographies, enough to power more than 55 million people.

Rapidly expanding global renewables market

By 2030, installed global renewable energy capacity is expected to be four times what it is today. Ørsted will continue to invest exclusively in green energy projects and maintain its place among the world’s largest green energy companies.

Although we’ve mainly invested in European projects in the 2010s, since 2019, we’ve significantly increased our investments outside Europe, namely in Taiwan and the US. Towards 2025, we expect to maintain our investment level in Europe while significantly increasing our investments in renewable energy in North America and Asia Pacific.

People powered by renewable energy capacity built by Ørsted

(million)

Phasing out fossil fuels in energy generation

The decision to convert our combined heat and power plants to run on certified sustainable biomass, and fully phase out coal by 2023, has been instrumental in Ørsted’s green transformation. 

Over the years, we have taken steps to decarbonise our combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Since 2006, the company has shut down 3 coal-fired power plants and converted 6 coal-fired power plants to run on certified sustainable biomass. 1 remaining coal-fired power plant will be shut down in 2023. 

As a consequence, we have reduced our coal consumption by 91% since 2006. In 2019, coal only made up 9% of our energy generation. We will completely phase out use of coal by 2023.  Already by end of 2020, the company will ensure 100% of wooden biomass used is certified sustainable.

Read more on how we ensure the sustainability of biomass through certification.

We're also exploring green alternatives to the natural gas and oil that we use for specific functions, such as in boilers and for start-up, at our CHP plants, and which constitute a minor but hard-to-abate source of emissions in our energy generation.

Our consumption of coal

million tonnes
Our consumption of coal

Carbon-neutral offshore logistics operations

We need to access our energy generation assets on land and sea in order to operate and maintain them. In 2019, emissions from operations and maintenance accounted for 44kt CO2e of our total carbon footprint. That figure will grow as we continue to build green energy assets at scale, largely because the vessels we use to operate and maintain our offshore wind farms run on bunker fuel. 

To reach carbon neutrality in 2025 we will have to decarbonise offshore logistics as much as possible through new innovation. Ørsted is already undertaking initiatives to optimise sailing routes and speeds of our vessel fleet and testing use of vessels with hybrid diesel and battery-electric engines. New technologies based on advanced biofuels and hydrogen-based fuels are part of the solution to decarbonise shipping, but will need to be matured further. Any remaining emissions that are hard-to-abate may need to be offset through carbon sequestration.

Insights from Ørsted’s Environmental Hero 2019

Morten Perdomo Rostrøm is Lead Operations

Specialist in our Offshore wind  business. In 2019, he ran an innovation
game on how to decarbonise our logistics and received Ørsted’s internal Environment Award for his personal contribution to making Ørsted an even greener business.


What motivates you to work with what you do in Ørsted?
Our company vision gives me a lot of energy. I believe that the world needs to listen to climate science and act accordingly. We need to protect the Planet, because every day, we humans are causing irreversible damage. Personally, I feel obliged to do what I can to change things for the better, and my job allows me to do just that. So, I pedal hard to get to work every morning!

What are the benefits of having a carbon neutral operations 2025 target?
Every step in a greener direction counts, and every gram of CO2 we prevent from going to the atmosphere buys time to mature the innovation that will take us all the way to reaching carbon neutrality. The driver for us isn’t just to reduce cost. It’s to reduce our emissions.

What is the main obstacle to reach the target?
Money! Burning diesel is still much cheaper than using sustainable fuels. And we need to stay competitive as a company, so we are dependent on finding cost-competitive alternatives and rethink the way we manage our logistics in partnership with the shipping industry. We need to work hard to reach our target, but we’re up for the challenge!

 

 

Reducing emissions from administration: Towards a low-carbon workplace 

In Ørsted, we have 6,500 employees, working at 68 locations around the world. They commute to and from their workplaces each day. Sometimes they need to fly for work. They have to work in heated or cooled office buildings, with furniture, electronic and mobile devices, work wear and safety equipment. They need to eat lunch. All these activities form a very small amount of carbon emissions in Ørsted's carbon footprint.  
 

We’re driving out carbon emissions from these activities as follows:

  

We target 50% emissions reduction in our

energy trading and supply chain by 2032

The next frontier of decarbonisation is our energy trading and
supply chain. For most sectors, emissions indirectly linked to their
company make up the majority of their carbon footprint.