Vattenfall aims to be carbon neutral before 2050: CEO

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - State-owned Swedish utility Vattenfall expects it will become carbon neutral sooner than planned, its Chief Executive Magnus Hall told German weekly Welt am Sonntag.

“Believe that 2050 is not enough. We can manage that sooner,” the paper quoted him as saying.

“Whether it will be 2040 or 2045, we can’t and won’t define that exactly,” he said, adding that some technical solutions still had to be developed to achieve complete decarbonisation, for instance in energy storage.

The state-owned company divested its polluting lignite power plants and mines in eastern Germany last year, and said it wanted to focus its investments on renewable power.

The group earmarked 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) for wind projects in 2017 and 2018, out of a total investment volume of 5 billion euros for the five years to 2020.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Andrew Bolton