Vattenfall throws EUR billions into wind – but drops the US

Swedish energy company Vattenfall expects to reach virtually the same size as Denmark's Dong Energy in 2025. However, in 2016 earnings declined by 40 percent in the wind business.

Wind will be Vattenfall's main attraction in coming years. If anyone was in doubt after last year's big victories in the Danish coastal turbine tender of 350 MW and the 600 MW offshore wind farm Kriegers Flak, the Swedish utility has now specifically stated this ambition in its latest annual report. Of the SEK 50 billion (EUR 5.3 billion) which the company plans to invest in 2017-2018, approximately one third – SEK 17 billion – is allocated for wind.

This is not because 2016 was a particularly great year for Vattenfall's wind business. Although the same amount of electricity was generated by wind as in the previous year – 5.8 TWh – it took more wind turbines to generate the same amount of electricity, and the underlying earnings declined from SEK 1.5 billion to SEK 0.9 billion. This is a decline of 40 percent which the Swedish company attributes to "higher depreciations and a higher OPEX".

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