Start / From hydro power to solar cells

From hydro power to solar cells

During the pioneer period and the great expansion of hydroelectric power in the middle of the century, many enormous power plants were built. Often under difficult conditions. Once hydroelectric power had been developed, new energy resources were required to meet the demand for electricity. Nuclear power and alternative energy sources were the solution.

Articles

Emerging industry and railways played a major role in determining the location of Vattenfall's first hydroelectric plants. Over the course of a few years three gigantic and architecturally fascinating plants were built. Vattenfall's pioneering plants.

Many of the large hydropower plants were built in the wilderness. Construction required a huge workforce – for a limited time. This led to the rapid growth of new communities, which in most cases were dismantled once construction was complete.

Both during and after the Second World War, the demand for electricity increased dramatically. All forecasts were exceeded. Hydroelectric power now had to be expanded at a furious pace. This was also possible thanks to the water rights that Vattenfall had acquired with foresight much earlier.

There was huge optimism for the future in Sweden after the Second World War and confidence in Swedish technical solutions was strong. It was in this environment that 'the Swedish line' emerged. How Sweden could benefit from the promising nuclear power.

When the development of nuclear power began, Vattenfall experienced a boom in new construction. As during the hydroelectric era, construction proceeded at a rapid rate. The work sites at Ringhals and Forsmark were the largest in the Nordic region at the time.

It took many years before wind power went from being just a promising resource to being an established energy source. Sweden's first pilot project literally ended with a bang. However, the time was right for this form of energy – today, Vattenfall is one of the Europe's leading producers of wind energy.

When Vattenfall realised in the mid 1950s that the expansion of hydroelectric power was coming to an end, the company started looking at alternative ways of producing electricity. The main candidates were initially oil and nuclear power. But the oil crises and the nuclear phase-out decision upset everything.

Images

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Olide power plant under construction
Olide power plant under construction

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Workers' huts in Porjus
Workers' huts in Porjus

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The river Ume älv
The river Ume älv

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The river Ångermanälven
The river Ångermanälven

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Ågesta nuclear combined heat and power plant
Ågesta nuclear combined heat and power plant

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Stadsforsen power plant
Stadsforsen power plant

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Reactor fuel cap
Reactor fuel cap

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Wind power plant, Humlekärr
Wind power plant, Humlekärr

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