THE LEX COLUMN: Renewables are a breeze for Orsted
Danish offshore wind group Orsted dedicates a whole section of its website to would-be Greta Thunbergs. Activists fall into four archetypes, it says, all dull. The exception is the “transformation leader”, no doubt modelled on Orsted CEO Henrik Poulsen. He has, after all, turned a national oil company into the world’s largest offshore wind builder and green energy champion.
As the European climate movement takes on unstoppable momentum, there is seemingly little that can take the wind out of his sails. Even 2019’s warning about lower returns from its wind farms barely dented results. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 17% for the year. True, its outlook was weaker than expected, but investors barely blanched, sending shares down just over 2%. That hardly blew shares, up threefold since listing in 2016, off course.