Wind is a key source of renewable power, but densely populated coastlines often lack the physical space and blustery weather needed to take advantage of it. The fiercer and more reliable winds blowing farther offshore are an attractive alternative—yet many countries, facing high costs and slow permitting processes, are struggling to build wind power facilities there.
Ørsted is trying to change that. For more than two decades, the company has propelled the European offshore-wind market forward by investing in commercial-scale projects and the supply chains needed to support them. Today, Ørsted operates industrial-scale offshore wind farms in Denmark, Germany, and the UK, including Europe’s first two gigawatt-scale facilities. The company is now aggressively expanding its presence in the US, with initial large-scale projects in development off New York and New Jersey, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ørsted is a rare example of an energy company that transitioned its core business from fossil fuels to renewables. In 2008, fossil-fuel plants accounted for 85% of Ørsted’s heat and power generation, while renewable energy accounted for 15%. By 2019, Ørsted had flipped that ratio. Today renewables make up 91% of its energy portfolio.
- Industry: Renewable energy
- Founded: 2006
- Headquarters: Fredericia, Denmark
- Notable fact: Ørsted used to be DONG Energy, short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas. To reflect its shift toward renewable power generation, in 2017 the company renamed itself after Hans Christian Ørsted, a Danish physicist who helped discover electromagnetism.
Potential for impact
Ørsted has built more offshore wind farms than any other company in the world. It also operates land-based wind and solar farms, battery storage facilities, and biomass power plants. With ambitious growth plans, the company intends to play a key role in replacing fossil-fuel power plants with renewable energy worldwide.
As of 2022, Ørsted had installed 15.1 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity worldwide—enough to power 12 million US homes. By 2030, it hopes to reach 30 GWs of offshore wind and more than triple its installed renewable energy generation capacity overall. That is the same amount of offshore wind capacity the Biden administration wants to build nationwide by 2030.
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