Greentech Lead Europe: Dong Energy will invest about $1.8
billion a year on offshore wind projects to offset a challenging environment
for gas plants.
Currently, Dong is operating about 1.3 gigawatts of
offshore wind farms and 1.1 gigawatts under construction. The company plans to
build 3 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020.
Danish state-owned oil and gas group Dong will fund new
offshore wind plants with company revenue and from selling shares in existing
projects. Dong will sell 50 percent of a German park for 4.7 billion kroner to
Kirkbi A/S, the parent company of Lego Group, and Oticon Foundation.
Dong will not invest in new coal-fired power plants as it
seeks to cut by half its carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity and heat
generation compared with 2006 levels by 2020. The company also plans to convert
about half of its remaining coal stations to use biomass, according to a report
Dong is focusing on renewable sources for electricity
generation to shift from fossil fuels and cut emissions as the rising cost of
gas depresses profits for burning the fuel.
Dong operates gas-fired power plants in Norway, Denmark
and the Netherlands and opened its first in the U.K. in south Wales last year.
The company is surveying the market for future projects and find Germany as an
interesting place to invest.
Countries are promoting clean energy to curb emissions
and meet European Union goals. The U.K. is planning to build 18 gigawatts of
offshore wind by 2020 from about 2 gigawatts now while Germany targets about 10
gigawatts by the same year.
Recently, Dong partnered with Germany’s Bayerngas to
develop an oil field in the Danish North Sea.