Denmark's Dong Energy to phase out coal by 2023

Posted Feb 3, 2017 by Karen Graham
Since its inception in 2006, Denmark's Dong Energy, already a leader in green energy technologies, announced on Thursday they will become 100 percent coal-free by 2023.
A wind farm in Copenhagen  Denmark
A wind farm in Copenhagen, Denmark
Kim Hansen
Dong Energy, after ditching oil and gas last year, is taking anther giant leap forward in becoming one of the first major European power companies to become coal-free withing the next six years, as it continues its shift away from fossil fuels, reports Denmark's The Local.
Dong Energy was formed in 2006 with the consolidation of six Danish energy companies: DONG, Elsam, Energi E2, Nesa, Københavns Energi, and Frederiksberg Forsyning. The company has created a portfolio of renewables, based on leading technologies in offshore wind, bioenergy, and energy solutions.
Dong Energy
Dong is already the world's largest offshore wind power company, having constructed more than a quarter of the world's existing offshore wind capacity. In September 2016, they became the first company worldwide to have installed 1,000 offshore wind turbines.
Phasing out coal
Thursday's announcement goes along with the company's overall goal to phase out the use of coal. Since 2006, they have reduced its coal consumption by 73 percent, so getting rid of any remaining dependence on coal will be a piece-of-cake. By 2023, Dong's power stations will have stopped using coal, replacing the fossil fuel with sustainable biomass. "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," says Henrik Poulsen, CEO.
Dong Energy
Coal still accounts for about 40 percent of the world's electricity production. And while coal consumption worldwide had been steadily rising since 2002, it suffered its first decline in 2014 when China experienced a drop in demand.
Other European countries are turning away from coal and going to renewables, including Italy’s Enel. Enel says it will not be building any more coal-fired power plants and expects to be coal-free by 2050.