Several R&D projects involve finding effective solutions to increase safety and to reduce environmental impact, without reducing generation capacity.
Plan to upgrade
Since Vattenfall's hydro operations are already well-developed, the opportunities to build new hydro power plants are limited. As a consequence, our R&D efforts aim to upgrade existing power plants to extend their lifespan.
In the coming ten years, we will invest in modernising and upgrading 30 hydro power plants. In Sweden alone, our investments will amount to about SEK 13 billion between 2012-2023.
Vattenfall collaborates with academic institutions and others to extend our R&D efforts. Among them is the Swedish Hydropower Centre (SVC), a joint initiative between power companies, universities, the Swedish Energy Authority, consultants and manufacturers.
Vattenfall is carrying out extensive upgrading of our dams in Sweden to meet new safety requirements. We will increase the spillway capacity, and heighten and strengthen dams to allow for higher reservoir levels. We also plan to upgrade monitoring systems.
Some of our R&D initiatives are performed in cooperation with the Swedish power industry R&D organisation Elforsk.
Lower environmental impact
We are conducting research to identify ways of improving the environmental conditions for hydro power. The programme is carried out with the Swedish government agencies for energy, fishing and environmental protection, as well as Elforsk. Our aim is to enhance biodiversity, while at the same time maintaining our hydro power production.