Danish DONG Energy to stop using coal by 2023
Danish company DONG Energy said it will entirely stop using coal by the year 2023. The company’s power stations will be replacing coal with sustainable biomass.
“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 the CEO, Henrik Poulsen.
DONG Energy stated it is the first among the large European energy companies to decide to phase out coal for the production of electricity and heating completely. The company has already reduced its coal consumption by 73 percent since 2006. through a reduction in the number of power stations as well as conversions to sustainable biomass instead of coal.
Denmark’s total annual emissions of greenhouse gases have been reduced by approximately 25 million tons of CO2 from 2006 to 2016, and DONG Energy’s share of the reduction amounts to approximately 53 per cent. In 2023, the company will have reduced its annual CO2 emissions by almost 18 million tons compared to 2006. levels. The total reduction corresponds to the annual emissions of more than 9 million cars.
Wood pellets and chips replacing coal
Since 2002, DONG Energy has used wood pellets and wood chips as fuel at Herning Power Station and Avedøre Power Station, fully converting the latter to biomass. Since 2016. another one of its plants uses wood pellets and straw exclusively, and during the spring of 2017. another facility will convert to wood chips.
At the same time, DONG Energy has constructed more production capacity based on offshore wind than any other company in the world.
With the decision to stop all use of coal by 2023, DONG Energy must find a solution for the remaining two coal-fired power stations. According to the statement, the company is in dialogue with the heating customers regarding the possibilities of converting the two power stations to use wood chips instead of coal when the existing heating agreements expire at the end of 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Coal is still one of the most commonly used fuels worldwide. Around 40 percent of the world’s electricity is produced from coal, even though coal is the fuel emitting the most CO2.