Dong Energy, Denmark, is the world's leading offshore contractor and operator, with an installed capacity of more than 1 GW, 1 GW under construction and 3 GW in the project pipeline.

Headquartered in Denmark, Dong Energy is an integrated energy company with activities throughout the value chain. The business encompasses oil-/gas exploration and production in the North Sea, transmission, electric power and heat produced from coal, gas and biomass, offshore wind, as well as distribution and sale of energy to retail and end customers. The market footprint covers Northern Europe - mainly Denmark, England and Germany.

Wind energy had a renaissance in Denmark after the 1970's oil crises with an initial focus on land-based installations. During the nineties it became clear, that wind power must be established offshore, in order to leverage the true economic and resource-related potential.

The paper tells the offshore wind history, presents 2011 state-of-the-art, and finally describes the development perspective for the offshore wind energy seen with northern European glasses and in the light of the European energy policy and the general focus on climate and energy supply security. The status is pictured on the basis of Dong Energy's offshore sites.

The technical concept consisting of turbine, foundation, internal cabling and grid connection, installation, commissioning and operation is presented, with focus on the efforts to industrialize the processes and thereby reduce the cost of installation and commissioning. The importance of scale, continuity and flow in establishing and developing the organization and acquisition of assembling ships is addressed - and shows that the offshore wind energy today highly resembles the processes of the modern oil industry.

Finally the challenge of integrating large amounts of fluctuating wind energy in a fossil-based energy system is addressed together with the challenge of the transition from a fossil-based energy system to a sustainable energy system where the majority of the energy comes from fluctuating renewable wind energy.

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