DONG Energy: No Oil, No Gas, No Coal

DONG Energy has decided to entirely phase out the use of coal as fuel at its power stations by 2023. Since 2006, DONG Energy has reduced its coal consumption by 73% and will replace it at the power stations with sustainable biomass to achieve the zero point.

Image: DONG Energy

The decision means that DONG Energy is now initiating the final stage of the conversion, so that by 1 January 2023, the company will no longer generate electricity and heating based on coal.

Given the continuous coal consumption reduction and the development of offshore wind power, DONG Energy will have gone from being one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe to being among the greenest energy companies in Europe in just one decade, the offshore wind giant said.

“We’ve decided to take the final step and phase out the use of coal at all our power stations. The future belongs to renewable energy sources, and therefore we’re now converting the last of our coal-fired power stations to sustainable biomass. The decision is in line with our vision to lead the way in the transformation to a sustainable energy system and create a leading green energy company,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO.

With the company’s latest decision, a future solution must now be prepared for its remaining two coal-fired power stations: Asnæs Power Station and Esbjerg Power Station. DONG Energy is in dialogue with the heating customers in Kalundborg and Esbjerg regarding the possibilities of converting the two power stations to use wood chips as fuel instead of coal when the existing heating agreements expire at the end of 2017 and 2019, respectively.

“When we use sustainable biomass, we achieve significant CO2 reductions in comparison to when we use coal and gas. Our wood pellets and wood chips originate from forest areas with continuous reforestation, meaning that new trees grow up to absorb the CO2 emissions created during the combustion of the biomass,” Poulsen explained.

In November 2016, DONG Energy announced it had decided to exit from its oil and gas business. This month, the company revealed it expects to divest its activities within exploration and production of oil and gas before the end of this year.

The company’s business currently consists of 80% activities in offshore wind, 12% in power and gas distribution and sale, 4% in bioenergy and thermal power, and 4% in oil and gas.

DONG (Dansk Olie og Naturgas/ Danish Oil and Natural Gas) became DONG Energy in 2006 with the merger of six Danish energy companies: DONG, Elsam, Energi E2, Nesa, Københavns Energi and Frederiksberg Forsyning. “Since DONG Energy was formed in 2006, we have changed from one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe to a global leader in renewable energy,” the company states on its website.

The offshore wind developer today reported a major increase in its EBITDA and net profit, mainly due to its wind power business.