Ørsted’s biodiversity policy to focus on marine ecosystems
Danish renewable energy company Ørsted has announced a new policy to reduce the environmental impact of its facilities, it was announced last week.
Ørsted A/S’s new ‘offshore wind biodiversity policy’ aims to protect the natural environments of the areas within which the company builds and operates its offshore wind farms, following a study into the way the facilities interact with marine and coastal ecosystems.
The policy will focus on the noise impact of turbines on marine mammals, as well as the impact on seabed ecosystems and costal environments and the impact on bird migration routes and feeding grounds.
In a statement, the company said it wants to “continue to ensure that we grow our offshore wind business in a way that is sustainable and seeks to protect the environment”.
Hans Lhyne Bord, Head of Environment, Consents & Property at Ørsted, said: “Renewable energy plays a major role in mitigating climate change and the threat is poses to biodiversity. At the same time, it is important to protect biodiversity at our wind farm projects and sites.
“Our biodiversity policy formalises and makes it transparent that Ørsted takes responsibility for the natural environment, and that we actively engage with all relevant stakeholders and operate within all relevant regulations, for the protection of species and habitats.”
Currently employing almost 6000 staff, Ørsted’s vision is to create “a world that runs entirely on green energy”.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.