Danish energy firm posts profits as electricity and gas prices rocket

Danish company Ørsted said on Wednesday its energy sales increased by 54 percent in 2021’s third quarter, citing hikes in gas and electricity prices as the driving factor.

Danish energy company Ørsted posted large profits in 2021's Q3 due to high gas and electricity prices. The company wants to ramp up sustainable production by 2030.
Danish energy company Ørsted posted large profits in 2021's Q3 due to high gas and electricity prices. The company wants to ramp up sustainable production by 2030. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The commercial division of Ørsted, Bioenergy & Other, reported a 6.6 billion kroner profit in the third quarter of this year, a 54 percent increase.

Operating profits meanwhile rose to 1.2 billion kroner in Q3, according to the results.

Gas prices are six times the normal rate and electricity three time more expensive than normal, the company said.


“(The large profits) are due to extraordinarily good results from our power stations and high revenues from our gas businesses,” Ørsted writes in the results.

Although increasing gas and energy prices have given Ørsted strong results, the company, which has invested in wind and solar power, has not grown overall.

For the entire Ørsted company, operating profits in the third quarter dropped by just under 400 million kroner to 3.4 billion kroner.

That is because a relatively low amount of wind reduced the amount of energy produced by Ørsted’s wind farms.

Earlier this year, the Danish company published a plan to quadruple its position on sustainable energy by 2030.

That includes building wind and solar power farms to produce 50 gigawatts of power.

Contracts signed by the company so far can ensure 18 gigawatts of sustainable production, Ørsted said in its published results.

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Sweden to stop local governments blocking wind parks in final stages

Sweden's government has proposed a new law which will remove local municipalities' power to block wind parks in the final stages of the planning process, as part of a four-point plan to speed up the expansion of wind power.

Sweden to stop local governments blocking wind parks in final stages

“We are doing this to meet the increased need for electricity which is going to come as a result of our green industrial revolution,” Strandhäll said at a press conference. 

“It is important to strengthen Sweden by rapidly breaking our dependence on fossil fuels, building out our energy production and restructuring our industry. The Swedish people should not be dependent on countries like Russia to drive their cars or warm their homes.”

“We are going to make sure that municipalities who say “yes” to wind power get increased benefits,” she added in a press statement. “In addition, we are going to increase the speed with which wind power is built far offshore, which can generally neither be seen or heard from land.” 

While municipalities will retain a veto over wind power projects on their territory under the proposed new law, they will have to take their decision earlier in the planning process to prevent wind power developers wasting time and effort obtaining approvals only for the local government to block projects at the final stags. 

“For the local area, it’s mostly about making sure that those who feel that new wind parks noticeably affect their living environment also feel that they see positive impacts on their surroundings as a result of their establishment,” Strandhäll said.  “That might be a new sports field, an improved community hall, or other measures that might make live easier and better in places where wind power is established.” 

According to a report from the Swedish Energy Agency, about half of the wind projects planned since 2014 have managed to get approval. But in recent years opposition has been growing, with the opposition Moderate, Swedish Democrats, and Christian Democrat parties increasingly opposing projects at a municipal level. 

Municipalities frequently block wind park projects right at the end of the planning process following grassroots local campaigns. 

The government a month ago sent a committee report, or remiss, to the Council on Legislation, asking them to develop a law which will limit municipal vetoes to the early stages of the planning process. 

At the same time, the government is launching two inquiries. 

The first will look into what incentives could be given to municipalities to encourage them to allow wind farms on their land, which will deliver its recommendations at the end of March next year. In March, Strandhäll said that municipalities which approve wind farm projects should be given economic incentives to encourage them to accept projects on their land. 

The second will look into how to give the government more power over the approvals process for wind projects under Sweden’s environmental code. This will deliver its recommendations at the end of June next year.