Our operations

Business Area Heat

Vattenfall is one of Europe’s largest producers and distributors of district heating to growing metropolitan areas in the northwestern part of Europe, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Uppsala.

Interior of Uppsala heating plant

Interior of heating plant in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Heat operating segment comprises Vattenfall’s heating and condensing businesses, including waste-to-energy plants. District heating supply is mainly based on the operation of large combined heat and power plants (CHPs). The Heat business also offers an array of decentralised energy solutions, including mini-CHPs, heat pumps, boilers, storage options and solar panel installations. With significant growth potential in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, we continue to expand the number of customers in B2B as well as among large private and publicly owned property companies.
In Sweden, growth prospects are more limited due to market saturation and our focus is therefore on continuing to lower the CO2 footprint and enabling decentralised solutions.

Strategy and targets

Heat is at the center of Vattenfall’s decarbonisation journey. And the focus of our decarbonisation efforts is on replacing fossil fuels with fossil-free alternatives, mostly in our Berlin and Amsterdam heat networks. We are phasing out hard coal by 2030 and are carefully considering our technology options with a strong focus on minimising exposure to fossil gas – ensuring that any additional required gas assets are fit to be powered by fossil-free hydrogen or biogas when these renewable fuels become feasible.

Our country-specific CO2 reduction roadmaps are based on a broad mix of sustainable technologies, including geo- and aqua-thermal heat sources, heat pumps, e-boilers, (seasonal) storage options, and hydrogen. We are also partnering with major industry players to integrate third party excess heat from industries and data centres. In Berlin and in the Netherlands, we are investigating the feasibility of lowering network temperatures. This would minimise heat losses and enable the integration of more renewable third-party heat sources as most excess heat is supplied at lower temperatures compared to conventional power plants. We also have an ambition to increase third-party sources in our district heating networks in Sweden. In addition, our Swedish operations are to be 100% fossil free by 2025.

We aim to grow our customer base by connecting more new and existing buildings to our heat grids, by developing new heat grids (such as in the UK), and by implementing smart hybrid and decentralised heating and cooling solutions. To do this, we are working on further digitalising our core processes and developing digitally enabled propositions.

More about Heat

Read more about Business Area Heat in the latest Annual and sustainability report.

Key data

  2021 2020
Net sales (SEK million) 34,759 23,328
External net sales (SEK million) 14,655 13,538
Underlying operating profit1 (SEK million) –343 978
Sales of heat (TWh) 15.6 13.8
Electricity generation (TWh) 18.9 23.0
CO2 emissions2 (Mtonnes) 10.2 12.1
Nitrogen oxide, NOx (ktonnes) 5.0 5.5
Sulphur dioxide, SO2 (ktonnes) 1.3 1.5
Particulates (ktonnes) 0.1 0.1
  1. Operating profit excluding items affecting comparability.
  2. CO2 emissions are pro rata.

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