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Can a Leader in Offshore Wind Power Succeed in the United States?

London — A little-known Danish company may have some of the answers for tackling climate change.

The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm, operated by Orsted Energy, in Liverpool Bay off the coast of England. Credit: Paul Ellis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Whether it has the impact it hopes will depend in part on its ability to compete with some of the biggest energy companies on the planet.

Over the last three decades, the company, Orsted, has figured out how to build giant wind farms powered by turbines the size of jumbo jets in the shallow waters around northern Europe. These installations generate large streams of clean energy. The electricity they produce also comes at a similar cost to new natural-gas fired plants, according to Deepa Venkateswaran, an analyst at Bernstein, a market research firm. Ms. Venkateswaran said that with many new offshore wind plants expected in the coming years, the cost of building them was likely to continue to fall.

Orsted has captured about 30 percent of the global offshore wind market, which has been largely in Europe, according to Bernstein. That is more than double that of its closest competitor, RWE, the German utility. Orsted estimates that its spinning machines already provide power for the needs of more than 12 million people. [weiter]