Ørsted has broken ground for FlagshipONE, Europe's largest e-methanol project developed by Liquid Wind. The project aims to support the growth of a green shipping industry by producing e-methanol to fuel methanol-powered vessels. The demand for green maritime fuels is increasing due to new regulations and a rising number of e-methanol vessels. FlagshipONE, set to start production in 2025, will generate 50,000 tons of e-methanol annually. The groundbreaking event in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, was attended by political representatives, partner companies and local stakeholders. The project received support from Klimatklivet and is expected to create jobs in the region. The event emphasised the global need to transition away from fossil fuels and Sweden's potential to become a key market for e-methanol production.
Equinor has announced the indefinite postponement of its plans for a floating offshore wind farm, Trollvind, due to high costs and a challenging timeline. The project aimed to provide electricity to oil platforms and lower electricity prices in the Bergen area, contributing to Norway's offshore wind investment goals. However, the cancellation has disappointed proponents of climate solutions. Critics argue that the project's dual power system and export of gas for burning undermine its environmental benefits, while supporters emphasise the need for renewable energy in western Norway. The decision reflects the complexities and costs associated with transitioning to green energy sources.
Energy consumption in Denmark experienced a decline in the first quarter of 2023. The consumption of natural gas decreased by 13.9%, coal consumption dropped by 11.8%, while renewable energy and oil consumption fell by 5.7% and 3.9% respectively compared to the same period in the previous year. Denmark's net export of electricity to neighbouring countries also decreased. The consumption of jet fuel increased, but remained lower than pre-pandemic levels. Other notable changes included a rise in solar cell electricity production and a decrease in biomass consumption. Overall, primary energy production decreased by 2.0%, with increases in natural gas and renewable energy production offset by a decline in crude oil production.
The Swedish armed forces have expressed their opposition to the majority of offshore wind farm projects awaiting government approval, citing potential risks to national security. The conflict between energy production and defence interests is particularly challenging in the Baltic Sea, which has become a crucial region for NATO. With Russia's increasing aggressive behaviour in the area, including territorial violations and the attack on Ukraine, the Swedish armed forces argue that wind power projects could undermine military operations and surveillance capabilities. The government's recent approval of two wind farms outside Halland has sparked concerns about the difficult trade-offs that lie ahead, especially in the Baltic Sea where Russia's interests clash with those of other European countries and the United States.
Stora Enso, a global supplier of renewable solutions in packaging and wood products, has successfully issued two new green bonds totaling EUR 1 billion. The bonds, with maturities of 3 years and 6.25 years, have fixed coupons of 4.00% and 4.25% respectively. The issuance falls under Stora Enso's new Green and Sustainability-Linked Financing Framework and aims to accelerate the company's sustainability commitments and measures. The proceeds will be used to finance eligible projects that support the transition to a climate-smart and environmentally sustainable society, focusing on areas such as sustainable forest management, renewable energy and waste management. The bonds have no financial covenants and will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole CIB, Danske Bank and SEB served as joint bookrunners for the transaction.
Sweden's electricity production and exports have reached record levels, driven by substantial investments in wind power. Despite the closure of nuclear power plants, Sweden achieved a new record in electricity production in 2022, reaching around 170 TWh. Projections indicate that wind power investments will continue to be at record levels in 2023, with an expected increase of approximately 2,100 MW in capacity. However, the approval process for new wind power projects has become increasingly challenging, with around 70% to 80% of projects being rejected by municipalities and the military. The potential slowdown in wind power expansion is raising concerns about Sweden's future electricity supply and competitive pricing.
The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we curate the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.