Sweden-based Vattenfall has announced its plans for restructuring research and development (R&D) operations due to challenging market conditions and a slower rate of investment.

The company will prioritise research that can strengthen the development of its business in the future.

Vattenfall will decrease R&D activities on carbon capture and storage (CCS), intended coal power plants, and it will also discontinue a number of R&D projects in offshore wind power and gas power.

Meanwhile, the company will continue its participation in CCS through knowledge exchange.

"The company will continue its participation in CCS through knowledge exchange."

Vattenfall Nordic R&D head Karl Bergman said: "Tough market conditions are expected to continue for another few years, and we are restructuring our research and development operations as it is becoming increasingly important to have the right knowledge at the right time to meet the ever-changing needs of business.

"We now need to prioritise our R&D investments and choose whatever is most needed. We are opting for efficient research projects that can contribute further to our business operations, now and in the future."

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Vattenfall said the decision will affect more than 40 employees, around ten in the Nordic region and 30 in Continental Europe / UK.

The state-owned utility will focus on R&D projects within smart electricity grids along with wind, hydro, coal and nuclear power.

Vattenfall will continue its focus on methods for safe final repository of spent nuclear fuel and the use of coal power plants to regulate fluctuating wind power output in Germany.