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Making Europe the world’s greenest economy

14 Oct, 2020

How do leading energy companies adapt to the European Green Deal, the historic agreement made by the EU last year, committing to make the continent climate neutral by 2050. At the Swedbank Energy Summit 2020, Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen explained how Statkraft’s business strategy is harmonised with the EU’s Green Deal.

With the European Green Deal and Covid-19 pandemic, leaders across all sectors realise that the transition to climate neutrality must happen fast and that they must act now in order to achieve more sustainable and resilient economies.

CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen says Statkraft is well positioned for the ongoing transition.

“Statkraft has been providing renewable energy for more than a century. And in that sense our business strategy is very well harmonised with the Green Deal and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Today, we are Europe’s largest renewable energy producer and a top ten hydropower producer worldwide,” says Rynning-Tønnesen.

CEO Christian Rynning-TonnesenCEO Statkraft Christian Rynning-Tønnesen (Photographer: John Trygve Tollefsen)

Never stand still

At the same time, no company can stop developing and improving. Two years ago, Statkraft launched a new strategy, and since then the company has delivered through organic growth, investments and acquisitions. Today, Statkraft has built a large pipeline of wind and solar projects and is well on the way to meet the target of developing 8 gigawatts of new renewable capacity by 2025.

“Going forward, we will develop more than 1 gigawatt of renewable energy per year, mostly in wind and solar. We will invest NOK 10 billion a year in renewable energy. Quite a few projects will be sold after construction in order to take financial gain and recycle capital.”

Photographer: John Trygve Tollefsen.

Pioneering energy markets

In addition to our competence within building and operating power plants, Rynning-Tønnesen thinks Statkraft’s market experience will be crucial to succeed. Statkraft pioneered energy markets when Norway liberalised and started the world’s first power exchange for cross-border electricity trading with Sweden more than twenty-five years ago.

Statkraft also takes part in the so-called “electrification of everything”. Electricity will become the most attractive energy carrier in transport, buildings and industry. Based on this, Statkraft is taking a stronger position in the European EV charging market, building fast charging stations in Norway, Sweden, UK and Germany.

Stepping up on hydrogen

With regards to the EU Green Deal – one part of the business strategy was strengthened:

“We have stepped up our search for business opportunities within green hydrogen. For heavier tasks, hydrogen is better than batteries. Statkraft is currently looking to develop new hydrogen solutions within long haul transport on land and sea, as well as in the industry sector.”