Fossil fuels will be phased out within a generation, and we are continuing on our path towards a complete phase-out of coal in our heat portfolio by 2030. Vattenfall is transforming into a customer-focused company that combines large scale production with decentralised solutions and renewable forms of energy. We are committed to be climate neutral by 2050. As a consequence coal-fired power plants will, over time, no longer have a place in Vattenfall's portfolio, and are therefore classified as non-core assets.
The end of September 2016 marked an important milestone in Vattenfall's transformation, with the completion of the sale of the German lignite operations to the Czech energy group EPH and its financial partner PPF Investments. This was an important step in adapting Vattenfall's portfolio to the new market environment and to a long-term sustainable energy system that positions the company well for the completion of the transformation to become carbon neutral.
However, in the shorter term, the hard coal-fired assets are still important from a system perspective to guarantee security of supply in the electricity and district heating markets. From a business perspective adequate regulatory frameworks are therefore needed to allow companies to finance and complete the transformation towards climate-neutrality.
Currently Vattenfall owns and operates seven coal-fired power stations, six of these are combined heat and power plants (CHPs) in Berlin and the Hamburg region in Germany and one is a condense only plant in the Netherlands:
- Moorburg and Tiefstack in Hamburg, Germany
- Wedel in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
- Reuter and Reuter West in Berlin, Germany
- Biomass co-fired Moabit in Berlin, Germany
- Hemweg 8 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Vattenfall has implemented a risk screening process to make a sound and fact-based decision on whether to buy coal from a supplier or not.
Coal and the environment
Vattenfall is actively working to reduce CO2 emissions in its generation portfolio. Coal power plants emit high levels of CO2 and we are phasing out coal from all of our energy production. For example, we have converted the Klingenberg plant in Berlin to a gas plant, which lowered Vattenfall's annual CO2 emissions in the city by 600,000 tonnes.
We are installing efficient gas-fired CHPs (Combined Heat and Power plants) and we are developing new energy and heat solutions, for example power to heat where fossil free energy is used to produce heat. By 2020 Vattenfall plans to replace the hard coal fired CHP Reuter C by a power-to-heat facility which allows the integration of renewables into the district heating system as well as a gas-fired heat only boiler. In parallel, Vattenfall has achieved the delivery of steam from the Moorburg power plant to an industrial partner in the same area, which has changed the plant's operation mode from pure condensing to be CHP based.
Vattenfall’s Hemweg 8 coal-fired power plant in the Netherlands will be closed by the end of 2019.
To improve air quality, we take a number of measures, for example a targeted mix of coal quality or combustion controlling (NOx, CO) as well as secondary flue gas cleaning measures like electrostatic precipitators or filter bags (dust), flue gas desulphurisation (SO2) and DENOX (NOx).