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Electrification is driving the decarbonisation of our society.
Industries and processes that we traditionally associate with fossil fuels are switching to renewable electricity to tackle climate change.

Vattenfall aims to drive the transition to a fossil free future by bringing zero carbn energy to more sectors, and investing in partnerships and innovations to enable the replacement of fossil fuels. A new wave of electrification is underway and we intend to be a leader by connecting people to clean power efficiently and affordably.

Vattenfall Networks' offer in the UK is all electric.

We see three clear steps for electrification as a driver of decarbonisation:​

Decarbonising energy supplies:
Replacing coal fired power plants with fossil free sources of electricity such as wind, solar and hydro power.​

Direct electrification:
Replacing traditional sources of energy with fossil-free electricity, in transport, heating and other sectors.​

Indirect electrification:
Electrification of industrial processes by way of green hydrogen and/or electrolysis.

Electrification FAQ

Vattenfall Networks set up in the UK in 2018/19, and when we made the decision to be electric only (we don’t do gas networks), we were told by many that was not a viable business model for the UK.

One year on we’re pleased to be proving that theory wrong, and that in and of itself is a clear signal to us. We are seeing electric only developments becoming more widespread and, if we look at the net zero goals for the UK – electrification is going to need to play an ever-increasing role in solving the climate emergency.

To date, electrification and progress in decarbonisation has focussed on the power sector. The growth of renewables and so forth. The new wave of electrification is much broader and needs to go much deeper as we look to decarbonise transport, buildings, manufacturing and industry.

We’re very focussed on partnerships – where electrification can transform and decarbonise processes that we traditionally associate with fossil fuels, such as steel, heavy transport and cement production.

Climate change. It’s as simple as that. To reach net zero it’s a must do not a nice to have.

Electrification will need to help us to decarbonize how we live, work and travel. At Vattenfall we believe that electrification will be a driver of innovation, particularly in tough to decarbonize sectors.

We’re already seeing it. One example of that is Hybrit, where we’re investing in a process to deliver fossil fuel free steel, utilising hydrogen. We’ll see much more of this as society really starts to grapple with reaching net zero – it requires some real innovation in sectors – and that’s an exciting transformation to be a part of.

Our vision is clear. The transition is happening and our goal is to make fossil free living possible for our customers.

Smart grids will play a huge part in future proofing our networks and managing the increasing demands placed on our electricity network. The source of power, the energy mix, decentralisation, increasing demand – these are all changes that the network will need to manage.

Greater and more efficient data gathering systems will be been needed to optimise the network and thus reduce costs and deliver reliability.

These smart solutions will bring benefits  - with well designed, flexible networks.

Electrification has always driven progress, and we think that will accelerate and continue – powered by fossil free electricity. Electrification can drastically reduce CO2 emissions from the largest emitting sectors, by bringing zero carbon electricity to new sectors of industry and society.

One example is heavy transport – one of the biggest polluters. Our heavy transport team’s goal is to look at this sector and bring solutions and ideas to the market where electrification enables decarbonisation of shipping and boats, and buses.

The cost of renewables has fallen dramatically – it is now cheaper than fossil fuel sources. That’s a game changer for electrification.

In the UK we need to invest in a more flexible energy system and one where demand for electricity will increase as more sectors go electric. It shouldn’t cost more, if it is well designed.

The National Infrastructure Commission has estimated that £20bn of investment a year is needed to 2050 – £9bn more than we see today. How that investment happens, and making sure it’s the right kind of investment that creates a system that works for the consumer – that’s the challenge.

Our Networks business is looking at just that problem. We know from our experience in Gotland and elsewhere that it’s possible.

Partnerships are fundamental to our business. We’ve initiated partnerships with industries – from cement to steel, automotive partners to digital leaders. All of our partnerships are built on the idea that the innovation that they can enable can drive progress in fossil free living and develop new solutions. We’re seeing that already in our partnerships – it’s necessary to accelerate progress and find the best possible solutions. For example:

  • eRoadArlanda, where we collaborated to develop e-roads for electric trucks and other electric vehicles. The conductive technology enables cars, buses and trucks to be recharged while driven via conductors in the road.​
  • Askersund, where we partnered to build a micro grid that balances electric vehicle charging from renewables with electricity demand peaks and troughs.  The project includes the use of battery systems, combined with fast charging of electric cars and solar production.

Demand for electricity is going to increase significantly over the coming years, due to the electrification of our transport, industry and heat sectors; along with significant change from a centralised system to a more decentralised system with smart grids.

2020 will be a big drive for us in how we can decarbonise and grow our business by putting in new infrastructure to enable the move to electrification.