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Danish energy giant plans to double wind power production

Ørsted teamed up with an investment firm on four wind farm projects that will double Denmark’s offshore wind capacity and help achieve its goal of reducing emissions by 70% by 2030.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CN) — It is no secret that Denmark and its fellow European Union members are craving a more sustainable and secure energy infrastructure amid global market shockwaves caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

For the Scandinavian country, a crucial step towards that goal was taken Tuesday as Ørsted, Denmark’s largest energy company, announced it will collaborate with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, an investment fund, on four new wind farms in Danish territory.

All four wind farms are estimated to produce 5.2 gigawatts from offshore wind, which will double Denmark’s present 2.3 gigawatt energy production from windmills. The projects will be developed through a so-called open door procedure, in which companies take charge of initiatives without government funding.

“The four large open door projects can help to cement Denmark's continued leading position and create the foundation to kickstart the next phase of a Danish business adventure in the production of green hydrogen and green fuels,” said Rasmus Errboe, Ørsted's regional director for continental Europe, in a statement.

He added, “I am very excited about the partnership with CIP, where we bring together our unique skills and knowledge to develop a significant part of Denmark's offshore wind resources."

It is estimated that the wind farms will be ready for use by 2027 or 2028. If the partnership can deliver, Denmark will be on track to meet its goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2030.

At the Confederation of Danish Industry, the country’s largest business and employer organization, Director Lars Sandahl Sørensen is hopeful about the project.

“This could be a breakthrough for the green transition in Denmark with the new collaboration between two of the world's leading offshore wind developers. With CIP's and Ørsted's joint ambition to build four huge offshore wind farms that can deliver green power as early as 2027, we will significantly increase the pace of the green transition,” he said in a statement.

“The two companies show impressive green leadership and together they draw on a very large international experience that can inspire the rest of the world,” Sørensen said.

Two farms will be placed in the North Sea and the rest in the Baltic Sea, all in Danish territory, which will bring more security to Denmark after sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines last month exposed vulnerabilities in the EU’s energy infrastructure.

The project announcement comes just five months after four EU countries signed a deal to bring green energy to half of the bloc's citizens by 2050.

In May, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium signed a declaration pledging to build wind farms in the North Sea. The goal is to provide enough green energy for 230 million households in the EU.

At the time of the announcement, worries about Russia’s role in the EU energy infrastructure were addressed.

“Putin’s war highlights the risks we have made, by making ourselves too dependent on Russian energy,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the time.

The EU wants to cut all of its dependence on Russia energy by 2027 and has said it is prepared to spend up to 300 billion euros ($314 billion) to make it a reality.

Despite the government pledges, Ørsted said it will build the four wind farms without financial investments from the Danish state.

The partnership still needs approval from Danish authorities to build the wind farms but is expected to obtain it by the end of this year.

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