Our hydro power operations
We own and operate more than 100 hydro power plants, most of which are located in Sweden with some in Finland and Germany. Hydro power accounts for roughly 20 per cent of Vattenfall's total electricity generation and is the most important renewable energy source both in terms of Vattenfall's production and the European energy system.
Hydro power has played an important role in Vattenfall's history. When Vattenfall's predecessor, the State Power Board of Sweden, was founded in 1909, it was tasked with managing the Swedish state's investments in hydro power. Sweden's many rivers and streams comprised an excellent source of energy for Swedish industry, one which grew at a record pace in the early 1900s. Since then, hydro power has played a vital role for both our company and for Sweden.
Vattenfall's pumped storage plant Goldisthal, Germany, is one of the largest and most modern pumped storage plants of its kind in Europe with a generation capacity of 1,060 MW.
Vattenfall operates three smaller hydro power plants and eight pumped storage power plants in Germany. The latter are used in order to even out generation between periods of low and high consumption.
In Scandinavia, the storage reservoirs in the rivers provide the same function as pumped storage .The expected increased introduction of wind power generation will in this way benefit from the hydro capacity.
Future hydro operations
There are few opportunities to build more or to expand existing hydro power plants. Increases in electricity production will, therefore, come primarily from other types of energy, while the produced volume for hydro power will remain at the current level. The result is a decreasing share of hydro power even though the produced volume is the same.
As one of Europe's largest operators, Vattenfall has a clear competitive advantage. We will continue to keep hydro power growth options open.
During the period of 2012-2023, we will invest approximately 13 billion SEK in modernising and upgrading our power plants and conducting comprehensive dam safety measures.
The Abelvattnet power plant in Storuman, Sweden, which was taken into operation in 2012, is Vattenfall's first newly constructed hydro power plant in over 15 years.