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Vattenfall’s nuclear expansion to lower baseload prices with increased capacity

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  • Aurora Energy Research’s analysis underscores the transformative impact of expanding nuclear capacity in Sweden, aligning with the plans of state-owned energy company Vattenfall to facilitate nuclear expansion after selecting potential suppliers for small modular reactors (SMRs).
  • Additional Swedish nuclear capacity could lower electricity prices by 6% in the long run but worsen the economics of onshore wind and energy storage, as assessed by Aurora.
  • Swedish electricity consumer could save approximately 13 billion € between 2035 and 2055, when comparing two Aurora scenarios and based on accumulated Swedish consumption-weighted electricity costs.


STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN (AURORA ENERGY RESEARCH)—Sweden’s push towards a fossil-free economy by 2045 gains momentum with Vattenfall’s potential selection of Rolls-Royce and GE Hitachi for small modular reactors at its Ringhals site. Additional nuclear capacity in the SE3 electricity price area is projected by Aurora Energy Research to notably lower baseload prices, reduce onshore buildout, and narrow average daily price spreads.

According to Aurora’s analysis examining the effects of additional nuclear capacity, the commissioning of 2.5 GW of large-scale nuclear reactors in the SE3 electricity price area is projected to reduce prices by an average of €3.3/MWh between 2035 and 2055. While power prices are anticipated to rise ahead of 2040, they are expected to fall below €40/MWh (in real 2023 terms), following the introduction of new nuclear capacity in SE3. While Vattenfall and the Swedish government expect the earliest operation in mid 2030s, Aurora projects a start date around 2040 due to the typical lead times of 10-15 years.

The Swedish consumption-weighted cost reductions due to this new nuclear capacity could amount to approximately 13 billion € between 2035 and 2055, Aurora estimates. “The 13 billion € in cost reductions for consumers must be balanced against the government’s financing costs through Vattenfall, as the funding for establishing new nuclear power will ultimately burden taxpayers,” John Stranne, Research Associate, Nordic and Baltic Power Markets at Aurora Energy Research, emphasises.

Furthermore, the increased nuclear capacity is expected to decrease onshore wind profitability leading to a reduced buildout of onshore capacities by 3 GW and 5 GW in the Nordics in 2040 and 2050, respectively. This reduction will initially cause higher capture prices for onshore wind ahead of nuclear commissioning, but these prices are expected to fall below €40/MWh by 2040.

Aurora assesses that several factors supporting the Ringhals site’s selection by Vattenfall include the decommissioning of Ringhals 1 and Ringhals 2 in 2020 and 2019, respectively, which caused undesirable flow patterns within SE3, the availability of substantial grid connection capacity at the site; Vattenfall’s ownership and operation of the site; and Varberg municipality’s experience with nuclear projects, fostering confidence in a faster establishment of new nuclear facilities.

Sweden has an ambitious goal of 15 GW of new nuclear capacity by 2045, divided into two batches. The first being 2 GW in 2035, and an additional 12.5 GW in 2045.

Stranne concludes:

“Increasing the Swedish nuclear capacity by 2.5 GW allows for Swedish electricity consumers costs savings of up to 13 billion € between 2035 and 2055, considering the accumulated costs from the day-ahead market and with a 5-year delay in coming into operation. However, we believe it will be very difficult to reach the government’s ambitious goals of 15 GW by 2045, due to typical lead times as well as limited development resources, such as manpower and contractors.”

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Zina Fragkiadaki, Press Officer | +44 (0) 7747 219 913



Established in 2013, Aurora Energy Research is a leading global provider of power market forecasting and analytics for critical investment and financing decisions. Headquartered in Oxford, we operate out of 14 offices worldwide covering Europe, North & South America, Asia, and Australia. Our comprehensive services include market outlook packages for energy industry participants, advisory support, and innovative software solutions. We foster diversity with a team of over 600 experts with backgrounds in energy, finance, and consulting, offering unparalleled expertise across power, renewables, storage, hydrogen, carbon, and fossil commodities. Our mission is to facilitate the global energy transition through widely trusted quantitative analysis and high-quality decision support