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How DONG Energy Turned Black Into Green

Danish energy company DONG Energy now ranks number 11 on the Carbon Clean 200 list – a ranking of 200 companies from around the world that are profiting from sustainable energy. The honour comes on the heels of a 10-year milestone, where ‘green’ energy now outpaces black in DONG’s heat and power portfolio.

Back in 2006, DONG Energy was one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe, with only 15 percent of the company’s heat and power coming from renewables.

By 2015, more than half of the heat and power produced by Denmark’s largest energy company (55 percent) is now renewable.

DONG Energy’s momentum has not stopped there – several environmental initiatives are either being implemented now or are in the global pipeline. With three gigawatts of installed offshore wind capacity, the company is a leader in offshore wind farm construction. This capacity corresponds to roughly one quarter of the world’s offshore wind capacity. And with the offshore industry booming, dozens of offshore wind farms are planned for construction in both the US and Northern Europe.

Over the past decade, DONG Energy has also closed down coal-fired power plants and replaced coal and gas with sustainable biomass at other plants. In total, the company has reduced its coal consumption by nearly 75 percent. Going forward, the management expects that more than 80 percent of the company’s investments will be sustainable.

“We want to contribute to creating a world which runs on sustainable, green energy – a world where people have a good and healthy life and opportunities to develop, without having to worry about their energy consumption damaging the planet,” says Filip Engel, Director of Group Sustainability, Public Affairs & Corporate Branding at DONG.

Helping Denmark slash its carbon emissions and earning a high ranking on the Carbon Clean list are just a few ways the company is leading the black-to-green energy transition, and it hopes to inspire other companies to follow suit.

Sustainability pays

Current energy markets are making it more and more attractive for companies to make the transition to clean energy. Over the past 15 years, the energy output from the wind industry has doubled four times, while solar energy has doubled seven times. It is becoming continuously cheaper to produce clean energy because of technological advancements and because interest rates for financing “green” initiatives are steadily dropping.

The post-Paris effect

COP21 in Paris in 2015, where 195 countries committed to phase out fossil fuels, was a turning point for companies and governments keeping a watchful eye on energy production and its impact on the planet. Since then, countless organisations have continued to align their goals and strategies with the commitments made at the conference – all of which bodes well for more companies following DONG Energy’s lead and working to move from black to green.


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