Making green energy affordable

       How the offshore wind energy industry matured
        – and what we can learn from it

At Ørsted, our vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy

Not only is this necessary to avoid catastrophic changes to the conditions of life on our planet Earth, it is also possible.
Today, renewable energy is the economic choice. Life-time costs of new solar, onshore and offshore wind energy generation are lower than those of new-build coal, gas and nuclear power plants. For offshore wind energy alone, the cost in Europe has dropped by 63% since 2012.

This paper tells the story of how offshore wind energy went from a prototype to a mature and competitive technology at industrial scale. It demonstrates how industrial innovation – and ultimately the birth of a new large-scale energy technology – can happen when industry and government collaborate. While industry can research, demonstrate and deploy new energy solutions at scale, governments must set the framework for the market that enables industrial development, learning and growth of new and promising technologies.

Across the world, countries increasingly act to address climate change by transitioning their energy systems to green energy. Solar, onshore and offshore wind power can provide the backbone of the world’s new green energy system.

However, other complementary technologies will be needed to build a world fully powered by green energy, for instance, to make use of growing renewable power production in decarbonising heating, industry and transport, and to store excess energy for when the demand is higher. Such technologies can be developed and matured faster, if governments and industry collaborate effectively, enhancing the world’s chance of mitigating climate change. 

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Offshore wind energy has played a defining role in Ørsted’s strategic transformation and will continue to do so. As the global market leader in offshore wind energy, we are proud at Ørsted to have been the first mover in maturing a green, scalable and very powerful renewable energy technology. From its birthplace in Europe, we will in the years to come help offshore wind energy go global, as we deploy offshore wind at scale across countries that want to decarbonise their energy systems.

For the past decade, we have been on a radical decarbonisation journey ourselves. At the end of 2018, 75% of our energy generation was green, up from just 17% in 2006, and we will continue to drive out fossil-based energy generation of our own energy mix as we move towards our target of 99% green energy by 2025.

By 2030, Ørsteds ambition is to power more than 50 million people across the world


In Ørsted, our ambition is to continue leading the deployment of green energy. In 1991, we installed the world’s first offshore wind farm. Today, more than 12 million people are powered by offshore wind farms built by us. And by 2030, our ambition is to have an installed renewable energy capacity of more than 30GW, enough to power more than 50 million people across the world.

We are happy to share our insights on what has made offshore wind energy innovation happen and what it takes for offshore wind energy to go truly global with the potential to power hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

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Executive summary

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