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The Global Demand for Danish Expertise

Nicholas Doherty P On Bh Dy O Fo M Unsplash

Article posted by Tom Church

​Throughout 2020 and heading into 2021, cities, countries, and businesses have continued their commitment to the green transition.

Despite the global pandemic, declining costs and rising demand for renewable energy has led to continued investment. The start-up and installation of wind, solar, biomass and hydropower continue to increase, whilst investment into newer technologies such as power-to-x, hydrogen and energy storage surge.

As a result, the demand for sector experts also increases.

From technology to engineering know-how, investment, financing and development, Danish renewables expertise is in demand overseas. A range of government bodies, investors, developers, contractors and specialist advisors continue international expansion and global knowledge sharing efforts.

Lawyers, Contracts Managers, and Procurement professionals are counted amongst some of the most in demand.

However, there is relatively short supply of experts that have industry experience. This has led to a highly competitive market where investors, developers, OEMs, law firms and consultancies are all fighting for the best talent.

This is not only true to Denmark but can also be seen globally.

Anzurra is working with leading Danish businesses, domestically and internationally, to identify the very best legal, contracts, procurement and commercial professionals for their renewable energy activities.

If you are a seasoned expert, have transferrable skills or have aspirations to play a part in the green transition then please check out our current renewable energy searches. We are recruiting for individuals specialising in investment, project finance, M&A, procurement, project contracts, and regulatory matters.

Market Information: Denmark

Renewables generated more electricity than fossil fuels in Europe for the first time last year, generating 38% of Europe's electricity. Denmark continues to lead the way, generating 62% of its electricity from wind and solar. 2020 was therefore confirmed as a record breaking year for wind and solar power in Denmark, setting the bar in regard to the green transition.

Just weeks into 2021, we have continued to see exciting news, investments and initiatives announced.

PensionDanmark, PFA, and Andel are developing the world's first energy island. This initiative is being supported by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), who have also recently announced that they entered into an agreement with Vestas. Vestas will acquire a 25% minority stake in the world’s largest dedicated fund manager within greenfield renewable energy infrastructure investments. This move will allow CIP to further innovate and strengthen its position as a global market leader within the renewable energy sector. The transaction proceeds will be committed as reinvestments into CIP and new funds to accelerate growth and innovation on a global scale.

Offshore wind development continues with The Danish Energy Agency prequalifying a total of six consortiums and companies to participate in the tender for the 800-1000MW Thor offshore wind farm.Thor offshore wind farm will be Denmark's largest and will be located in the North Sea at least 20 km from the coast. It will supply electricity to around 800,000 Danish households. The total investment costs for Thor are estimated at a total of DKK 15.5 billion.

Meanwhile, Vattenfall's Kriegers Flak project, soon to be the largest offshore wind project in Denmark, has delivered the first power to the Danish grid. The first turbine was put in place a few days ago and the wind farm is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2021. Kriegers Flak will have a production capacity of around 600 MW and will cover the annual electricity consumption of approximately 600,000 Danish households.

Elsewhere, DFDS is developing a ferry that is 100% hydrogen powered. Green hydrogen will be produced by a planned offshore wind - powered electrolyser plant in Copenhagen. In parallel, Ørsted, partners in this initiative, has taken a final investment decision on the H2RES renewable hydrogen project. 

Market Information: International

Danish businesses play an integral role in the green transition on a global basis. Investors, developers, OEMs, technology providers, contractors, engineers, law firms and consultants, are all answering the call for Danish expertise on international renewable energy projects. This influence continues to grow and as at home, we have started 2021 with exciting news and developments on the international renewable energy scene.

Energinet and German TSO, 50Hertz, are to cooperate on a new energy island project. These transnational developments will be key to achieving the international goals of avoiding continued climate change.

In Brazil, 3 wind projects have secured financing from Denmark's Green Future Fund. The projects are being developed by Nordic Power Partners, a partnership between European Energy and IFU, and the turbines will be supplied by Vestas. Development, financed and technology provided by Danish business!

Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between CIP and Avangrid Renewables, look forward to completing the permitting phase of the $2.2 billion, 800-megawatt wind farm located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyard Wind will be the US’s first utility scale offshore wind farm will generate clean energy for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts, create thousands of jobs and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.

Despite permitting delays for their offshore wind projects, Ørsted pushes ahead with its onshore developments and has recently signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with PepsiCo. Their Nebraska and Texas wind farms are expected to be online later this year.

With 46th US President, Joe Biden, promising to rejoin the Paris Agreement and his pledge to move the nation to 100% clean energy by 2035, there will be huge opportunity for the development of further renewable energy projects such as these throughout the country. Last week, the President signed a series of executive orders to address climate change, which included the commitment to double offshore wind energy production by 2030.

In the APAC region, Taiwan is set to become the second largest offshore wind market by 2035, behind China. Danish companies continue to play a major part in the country's progress and achievements, with CIP and Ørsted developing major projects offshore. Vestas, in partership with CIP, have recently invested in a key site for assembly work for the Changfang and Xidao offshore wind project.

The export of Danish expertise does not stop with developers and OEMs. Leading law firms and specialists consultancies such as Bech-Bruun, JUMBO Consulting Group, Kromann Reumert and K2 Management, are all involved in major offshore wind developments throughout the region.

​Towards the end of 2020, Korea and Denmark continued strengthening it's co-operation on green energy with the signing of a MOU between CIP, Stiesdal Offshore Technology and Korean manufacturer CS Wind Corp. The MOU was to bolster three-way cooperation on development of offshore wind farms in Korea. Ørsted also revealed plans to develop South Korean offshore wind projects with a potential capacity of up to 1.6 GW.

This transfer of advanced Danish wind energy technology to Korea, should lead to significant cost reductions for domestic offshore wind projects and will contribute significantly to the creation of regional renewable energy supply networks. With Korea's goal of reaching 12 GW of offshore wind by 2030, Danish businesses will play an important role in getting there.

2021 also looks like an exciting year for offshore wind in Vietnam. The Danish Energy Agency and the The World Bank have prepared a roadmap for the development of offshore wind energy in Vietnam. The Input to Roadmap for Offshore Wind Power Development in Vietnam recommends that 10GW of offshore wind power could be operational in the country by 2030. With CIP opening an office in Hanoi last year and the subsequent commitment to develop a 3.5 GW offshore wind project with local partners, it is likely we will see further project announcements and companies entering the market.

In Japan, the government is working towards a decarbonised society by 2050, with a big push on offshore wind energy. They are targeting 10 GW by 2030, and between 30 and 45 GW by 2040. With the market expected to experience substantial growth, the likes of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Ørsted, and Vestas, are all present in the country with the view to develop offshore wind projects. Most recently, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Vestas have launched MHI Vestas Japan, a joint venture targeting onshore and offshore wind turbine markets in Japan.

The Fight for Talent

With all of this activity domestically and internationally, the fight for talent within the renewable energy sector is becoming ever more fierce. Developers, OEMs, contractors, law firms, and specialist consultancies are all searching for the very best legal, contracts, procurement and commercial talent.

This competition will not slow down. We are seeing markets maturing and the pipeline of projects increasing. Korea, Japan, Vietnam, USA, Australia, and many other countries are ramping up their targets and plans for offshore wind development. Demand for these expertise outstrips supply.

There are several players in each market all competing for the same talent and it is therefore, essential that each business understands the importance of employer branding, market mapping, pipelining, and talent attraction, acquisition and retention strategy. You must stand out from the crowd.

Being able to identify, evaluate, hire and onboard talent remotely is also the new norm. Having the right processes in place has always been important but it is now crucial. The restrictions resulting from the pandemic and the fact the talent pools span across many different countries means you have to design and implement consistent yet flexible processes.

Furthermore, there is no one size fits all approach. Understanding each culture will be essential and being able to navigate local talent markets a necessity.

For further market information, talent insights or to find out more about Anzurra's Renewable Energy practice, please reach out to Tom Church at tc@anzurra.com