Dong Energy has strengthened its commitment to climate goal with a pledge to phase out coal use at all of its power plants by 2023.
The Danish firm says that it has already reduced its coal consumption by 73 per cent since 2006, and that within six years, it will be using sustainable biomass in place of coal.
“We’ve decided to take the final step and phase out the use of coal at all our power stations,” said Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Dong. “The future belongs to renewable energy sources, and therefore we're now converting the last of our coal-fired power stations to sustainable biomass.”
Dong will be one of the first European power companies to end the use of coal; Italy’s Enel has also said it will not build any more new coal plants and that it will be fully decarbonised by 2050.
Dong has built more offshore wind energy capacity than any other company in the world and has been steadily converting its coal-fired capacity to use biomass. “This means that in just one decade, Dong Energy will have gone from being one of the most coal-intensive utilities in Europe to being among the greenest energy companies in Europe,” the firm said in a statement.
Since 2002, Dong has used wood pellets and wood chips as fuel at both Herning and Avedøre power stations, and over the years, the company has increased the share of biomass at both facilities.
In 2016, both Studstrup and Avedøre plants were converted to run 100 per cent on wood pellets and straw, and during the spring of 2017, Skærbæk power plant near Fredericia will be able to run 100 per cent on wood chips.
The firm is now looking at conversion options for its Asnæs and Esbjerg power stations.