There is an undeniable growing market momentum towards renewable energy. But as Amy Harder reports in Axios, “There’s currently only one offshore wind farm in the U.S., off Rhode Island.” Danish company Ørsted is looking to change that.
Harder reports that Ørsted “is at the leading edge of Europe’s traditional oil and natural gas companies that are transforming into producers of cleaner energy sources.” Last week at the Atlantic Council, Thomas Brostrøm, North American President of Ørsted delivered a speech titled “From an Oil Company to a Clean Energy Company” where he laid out his company’s mission.
Brostrøm made it clear that 10 years ago, Ørsted began moving “quite dramatic[ally] towards renewables, for both economic and environmental reasons.” He noted that the transition has been “quite remarkable.” Brostrøm referenced recent Ørsted numbers to prove the point. The Danish company has “delivered the best results in the history of the company” while increasing the renewable part of its production from 54% to 68% just since the first quarter of 2017. Brostrøm added, “so we’re certainly on the right track.”
Looking at the data, Ørsted has an impressive track record of expanding offshore wind in Europe very rapidly. Now, the company appears to be ready to replicate this success in the United States. According to Brostrøm, “we always could see that the potential is here, because the physical conditions [the strong wind speeds and shallow water depths] are great,” which is why Ørsted is “very bullish” about U.S. offshore wind and making aggressive investments that reflect that sentiment.
Ørsted sees the first large-scale U.S. offshore wind project coming online by the early 2020s, with “rapid growth” leading to 8-12 gigawatts by 2030 – and more after that. According to Brostrøm, one of the keys to success in this business is having a “long-term perspective.” For Ørsted, that has meant understanding that “the world will run on more clean energy,” for a variety of reasons including the fact that “costs are coming down.”
Brostrøm stressed the need to invest in infrastructure, including ports, the power grid and energy storage. The offshore wind industry is scaling up rapidly, and Ørsted is certainly positioned to capitalize on this growing market momentum.
See below for video of Brostrøm’s highly informative speech.