Vestas CEO welcomes Danish government's green ambitions

While there are still many details left to iron out, Vestas CEO Anders Runevad believes recent announcements from Danish Parliament indicate that politicians aim to maintain Denmark's green lead.

Danish politics has been concerned with green ambitions in recent weeks. First, the government published a draft for its upcoming energy policy, where the main theme was further electrification by lowering electricity costs, but also with expanding 800 MW of offshore wind and an annual 215 MW of solar and onshore wind in the coming years. Then the Social Democratic party put forward a plan for 3 GW offshore wind and 250 MW onshore wind.

These announcements have been welcomed by Vestas.

"From my perspective, the higher the ambitions the better. But, although many of the details still need to be ironed out for both onshore and offshore wind, I believe overall that the drafts reflect an ambition to remain in the lead of development," says Runevad.

Some of the unclear details include how politicians will specifically design the development of onshore wind in particular. Vestas has pushed to overturn the rule that onshore wind turbines can only have a maximum height of 150 meters, which is a challenge to the latest generation of turbines.

The political announcements about the energy deal come after a long period where the industry has been lacking ambition, particularly within the continued development of onshore wind after the previous subsidy scheme expired in February. Temporary solutions – two technology-neutral tenders in 2018-19 – did not prompt much celebration.

On the other hand, construction leading up to the expiry of the old agreement was considerable. This was also reflected in Vestas' quarterly report for the first three months of 2017. Of the 1,192 MW delivered by the turbine manufacturer, 123 MW was freighted around the domestic market. In fact, the quarter only saw more MW delivered to the global key markets, US and Germany.

The CEO maintains that for Vestas, the Danish market's primary function is to serve as a window display and create frameworks for further development.

"Overall, I believe that it is important for Denmark to continue to take the lead in the transition to renewable energy. Seen as a market, it is not essential for us, as it makes up 3-4 percent of our sales, but besides the fact that it is our home base and from the perspective of a technological benchmark, it is incredibly important," says Runevad.

English Edit: Lena Rutkowski

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