Dong Energy to be no more... Here comes Ørsted!

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 2 Oct 2017

​GRIMSBY’S biggest investor in offshore wind, Dong Energy, is to change its name as it reflects on the profound strategic transformation it has undergone.

An acronym of Danish Oil and Natural Gas, the company has sold off its traditional interests, focusing purely on renewables. 

Shareholder approval will now be sought at an extraordinary general meeting to rebrand as Ørsted, paying homage to Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted, who discovered electromagnetism in 1820, laying the foundations for how the world is now powered. 

A new logo and corporate identity has been produced, with the design depicting the Ø as the power-on / power-off logo. 

Thomas Thune Andersen, chairman of the board of directors, said: “Dong was originally short for Danish Oil and Natural Gas. With our profound strategic transformation and the divestment of our upstream oil and gas business, this is no longer who we are. Therefore, it is now the right time to change our name.

“Our vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Climate change is one of the most serious challenges the world faces today, and to avoid inflicting serious harm to the global ecosystems, we need to fundamentally change the way we power the world – from black to green energy.”

The new brand identity is inspired by the Danish design tradition in being simple, functional and human and supporting a sustainable way of life. The brand identity will consist of a full spectrum of colours, inspired by Scandinavian nature and the Danish 20th century artist Vilhelm Lundstrøm.

Henrik Poulsen, chief executive of Dong Energy, said: “2017 will be remembered as the year when offshore wind became cheaper than black energy, as demonstrated by the recent tenders for offshore wind in Germany and the UK. It has never been more clear that it is possible to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. The time is now right for us to change our name to demonstrate that we want to help create such a world.”

Over the past decade, Dong has transformed from an energy company based on coal and oil to a global leader in renewable energy. The company has been able to increase earnings considerably, while reducing the use of coal in its power stations and building out new offshore wind farms. Since 2006, CO2-emissions have been reduced by 52 per cent, and by 2023, they will have been reduced by 96 per cent compared to 2006.

It has also established a new team to explore new business opportunities in energy storage, with a new corporate ventures unit in Silicon Valley, California, to explore emerging energy technologies and potential long-term business opportunities.

Matthew Wright, managing director for Dong Energy UK, said: “This change to our name reflects our transformation into a fully-fledged renewable energy company. Ørsted perfectly captures our roots as a business and the exciting future ahead.

“In the UK, we are leading the renewable energy transformation and our offshore wind business is part of a hugely successful and growing industry. Offshore wind is now a mainstream renewable technology in the UK, providing low-cost green energy, while creating quality jobs across the country and a thriving supply chain for businesses."

The move will also see the unfortunate phallic reference the acronym implies, particularly in the US, consigned to history. 

A full roll out of the new name and design across the markets in which Dong Energy is present will take place from November 6, should it be agreed at the meeting in Copenhagen on October 30. Website is already active.

Who was Hans Christian Ørsted?

Hans Christian Ørsted was born in Rudkøbing, southern Denmark in 1777. He graduated in pharmacology from the University of Copenhagen in 1797 and became a professor in 1806.

Throughout his prestigious career as a physicist, Ørsted was deeply involved in studying how the forces of nature interrelated.

His interest in nature, curiosity and persistent pursuit of answers led him to discover electromagnetism in 1820. Ørsted’s discovery was immediately widely recognised in science and helped pave the way for numerous technological advances, among others power production.

His drive for fresh thinking led the University of Copenhagen to develop a comprehensive physics and chemistry programme and establish new laboratories under his guidance. In 1829 Ørsted established the Royal Danish Polytechnic Institute, now Technical University of Denmark (DTU), of which he was the first director.

Ørsted became an important figurehead not only within physics, but also within philosophy, poetry and aesthetics. He was a published writer and poet, his main work being the book The Soul in Nature (1850). The collection of articles presents his life philosophy and views on a wide variety of issues. Ørsted was a close friend to the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen.

He was married to Inger Birgitte Ballum. They had seven children. Ørsted died in 1851 at the age of 73. He is buried in Copenhagen's Assistens Cemetery.

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