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The climate benefits of biomass

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Danish energy firm Ørsted has moved almost entirely away from coal, thanks to wood biomass. In this article, Ørsted’s Carsten Birkeland Kjær explains how the company is utilising wood chips to reduce carbon emissions.

Using wood biomass for energy generation has allowed Ørsted to almost fully move away from coal. To ensure significant carbon savings, the biomass must meet strict sustainability criteria; otherwise, it should not be used in energy generation. In the late 1970s, the combined heat and power (CHP) plants in Denmark were converted from oil to coal to reduce oil import dependency. However, as the awareness of climate change and the demand for carbon reductions increased, politicians and energy companies began to explore greener alternatives to coal.

The same was true for Ørsted. Only a decade ago, the company’s coal-fired power plants were still a significant part of Danish carbon emissions. At the same time, Ørsted had just launched its first strategy to transform its business from fossil fuels to green energy. The challenge was to decarbonise its heavy fleet of CHP plants while at the same time continue...

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