Swedish power company and world-leading wind energy developer Vattenfall has announced that it is expanding its renewable energy operations, and will for the first time move into the solar PV + storage market.
Vattenfall is primarily known as a leading wind energy operator — currently with more than 1,100 wind turbines in operation across five markets with a total capacity of 2,500 megawatts (MW). Further, Vattenfall expects that by 2020 it will expand its in-operation wind capacity to 4,000 MW, and between 2016 and 2020 will invest €5.5 billion into this goal.
However, as of July 1, Vattenfall has split its previous Business Area Wind unit into three separate Business Units — Offshore Wind, Onshore Wind, and for the first time, Photovoltaic & Battery. Vattenfall will continue working across six European markets — Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and France, and expects to be able to see further growth in these markets over the next few years.
“Already early this year, we have taken a decision to adjust our ways of working towards the anticipated market developments,” explained Gunnar Groebler, Head of Vattenfall Wind. “With the “go live” of the new structure, we again put more focus on profitable growth in the renewable space and hence supporting Vattenfall’s overall ambition to power climate smarter living and becoming CO2 free in just one generation.”
“An important new pillar of Vattenfall’s renewable strategy is the formation of the Business Unit Photovoltaics & Battery. In the upcoming two years, Vattenfall plans to invest up to EUR 150 million in large-scale as well as decentralised PV and battery projects. This underlines our strong ambition to reshape the Vattenfall’s overall production portfolio and to broaden into a market with significant future growth rates.”
“Vattenfall is already among the pioneering companies in terms of cost reductions in the offshore and onshore wind sector as it is our ambition to lead the industry into a profitable but also highly competitive future,” Groebler added. “At the same time we face a fast changing business environment in our markets. With the creation of a lean business model with product lines in order to create dedicated end-to-end-processes and business that can respond to different markets, we take the logical next step to fulfil our ambitious targets.”
The new solar and storage unit will be headed up by Claus Wattendrup, who previously worked as the managing director of the Berlin-based Vattenfall Europe Innovation division. Vattenfall will have a lot of work ahead of it — especially in the UK — if it is to make this new division work, but the potential for growth is significant. With technological innovation bringing down the costs of both solar PV systems and battery storage systems, consumers around the world are finding themselves more able to afford solar + storage systems, which provide immediate and noticeable economic benefits — as well as being really helpful for countrywide renewable energy targets.
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