Danish Ambassador Visits Houston

Many Danish energy firms operate in the United States, and the Danish ambassador to the United States recently visited Houston, talking about Danish-U.S. relations. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports.

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Thousands of engineers and energy workers are in the Houston area and other parts of the nation. Danish engineering and energy firms are well-represented at the annual Offshore Technology Conference each year. Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen recently talked with the Southwest CEO Council and other groups.

"Energy is one of the sectors that we have traditionally worked a lot in Texas and Houston area. We happen to have a number of good Danish companies who have been working in the energy efficiency or renewables field for two, three decades--maybe even longer. The most known is probably some of the companies producing wind energy turbines. But the potential for future cooperation between the United States and Denmark is certainly in place in the field of energy."

Petersen says there are several areas where Danish companies have found success in trading with the U.S., with room for expansion.

"A lot of industrial equipment machinery pumps. It could be in the field of energy, energy efficiency. And it certainly also be in defense industry, pharmaceutical--some very big Danish companies have also been strong in some of the products in the pharmaceutical industry. All the things that you see in a modern industrial society."

Denmark has pioneered the use of wind energy. It has been able to establish considerable energy efficiency, managing to sustain a 70 percent growth in its economy without consuming more energy.

"And that's because we've been able to produce in the private sector, in the public sector, in households and in industry a real efficiency in energy consumption. We brought about a technology that in many different areas is applicable for American partners. We can also learn a lot from American companies, and the kind of joint ventures and the cooperation that we see is something that is very promising for energy security reasons and also for economic reasons and now--because we also realize that there are climatic consequences--we need to do something about that, and we've tried to as a small economic entity of 5.5 million."

Petersen says Danish insurance, financial services, transportation and shipping are doing well and also have potential for expansion. Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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