Swedish Power Company Vattenfall Celebrates 115 years

Vattenfall now employs a workforce of more than 20,000 and has been electrifying industries and powering homes since 1909

Now one of Europe's largest producers and retailers of electricity and heat, Vattenfall works in an array of markets — mainly Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK.

Despite its age, the company is young at heart and has a very futuristic outlook when it comes to the evolution of power. The Swedish multinational power company, owned by the Swedish state, has one of the cleanest electricity mixes of any European utility, and aims to phase-out coal by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

In 2024, Vattenfall celebrates 115 years since it was founded.

About Vattenfall

Vattenfall — Swedish for waterfall and is an abbreviation of its original name, Royal Waterfall Board —  has been electrifying industries, powering homes and transforming life through innovation for more than 100 years.

Headed up by CEO Anna Borg, who has been in post since 2020, Vattenfall envisions a fossil-free future and is committed to what it calls fossil freedom – a future where everyone can choose fossil free ways to move, make and live. With this in mind, it is aiming to stop using all forms of fossil fuels — including coal, oil, natural gas or peat — or any fuels derived from fossil fuels, like blue hydrogen, in its primary electricity or heat production by 2040.

Anna Borg, CEO of Vattenfall

CEO Borg has worked for the company in senior positions for seven years, three years of which she was Vattenfall’s CFO. She joined Vattenfall in 1996 and has had a variety of roles at other companies also during this time, including as Senior Vice President Nordic of Swedish fintech company Klarna. Seeing a wealth of change across the company in her almost 30 years with Vattenfall, Borg leads the company through the 2020s with the steadfast belief that it is possible to live a modern, comfortable life with an acceptable sustainability footprint, and that tackling climate challenges is a collective challenge. 

In conversation with Time, she said: “Vattenfall is aiming for net zero in our full value chain by 2040, which means both eliminating our own emissions as well as helping other sectors, our partners, and customers do the same. It’s a tough challenge I would encourage more companies to take on.”

Vattenfall: A brief history

  • 1909: Vattenfall, known then as the Kungliga Vattenfallsstyrelsen or Royal Waterfall Board, is founded as a state-owned enterprise in Sweden to develop hydroelectric power resources for the country.
  • 1915: One of Vattenfall’s most significant early hydroelectric projects, Porjus Power Plant, became operational.
  • 1960s: Vattenfall enters the nuclear power sector.
  • 1990s: The company goes international and expands outside of Sweden.
  • 2000s: Vattenfall’s focus shifts following a major company restructure — reflecting the changing energy markets of the time —  and starts working in renewable energy sources.
  • 2010s: In response to environmental pressures, Vattenfall starts to phase out its coal-fired power plants and leverages technological advancements such as smart grid technologies, energy storage and other solutions to enhance efficiency and sustainability.
  • 2020s: Vattenfall remains a key player in the European energy market, adapting to evolving market conditions and contributing to the ongoing global energy transition.
  • 2023: Hollandse Kust Zuid, the world’s largest subsidy-free offshore wind farm and run by Vattenfall, begins operations.


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