Vattenfall May Raise Offshore Wind Target
Sweden's Vattenfall may raise its target for installing offshore wind power generation in Europe beyond the 11,000 megawatts (MW) it now plans to have in place by 2025, an executive said.
Gunnar Groebler, the Swedish power firm's board member in charge of wind, had announced the 11,000 MW target in January, after installed capacity reached 3,000 MW at the end of 2018.
But he told Reuters on Wednesday that such targets needed "constant monitoring and reviewing."
"It could become more, as we notice the market is very dynamic and we wish to keep or expand our market share," he said.
The power producer has identified offshore wind as the main growth area in a portfolio that also includes heating and nuclear power, retail activities and network operations in several European countries.
Vattenfall planned to spend about 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) a year both on onshore and offshore wind and solar power generation over the next few years, Groebler said.
Several European countries are pushing for more carbon-free power generation to replace fossil fuel-fired plants.
Vattenfall has submitted bids for wind power projects, including the Dutch Hollands Kuest Zuid 3 and 4 project, with 705 MW capacity, and the French project in Dunkerque, with capacity of 600 MW. The auctions could conclude in June.
Groebler said Denmark's 800 MW Thor wind project and projects in Poland and other Baltic states were also attractive.
The capacity of wind turbines has increased, with 10 MW turbines being developed by General Electric and Siemens (SIEMENS.NS) . This will boost efficiency and help drive down costs further.
"Size matters and that will continue," Groebler said, citing consolidation in the industry and adding that major oil firms could "be part of the consolidation."
He said Vattenfall was ready to partner with investors who could help build offshore assets without fully owning or operating them.
Vattenfall sold 49% of the Ormonde wind park in Britain in 2015 and is building a 360 MW onshore wind power plant in Sweden in partnership with a pension fund.
Groebler said his firm had no plans to follow other firms by expanding beyond Europe for now, adding that expectations that this could reap high profit margins was "wishful thinking" that had not been proven so far.
($1 = 0.8898 euros)
(Reporting by Vera Eckert Editing by Thomas Seythal and Edmund Blair)