Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall has taken over as president of European power industry association Eurelectric.

Hall – who takes over from Enel boss Francesco Starace – said he will make the push to wider electrification the top priority of his two-year term, enabling deeper penetration of clean electricity in areas such as transport and heating.

Like all the major utilities in Europe, Vattenfall has vowed to become carbon neutral by 2050, and has helped pioneer world-first initiatives in the green production of steel and cement.

Hall said: “Electrification is the key enabler of a carbon-neutral future in Europe. We want to cooperate with policymakers and industry to accelerate electrification in transport, heating and industry.”

He is also placing an emphasis on delivering a decarbonised electricity system by driving innovation towards carbon-neutral technologies, as well as working with governments to deliver the necessary "market-based investment frameworks and market design" that facilitate "cost efficiency, stability and predictability". Increasing societal acceptance and involvement of the public in the energy transition is another priority, which will also require the co-operatino of policymakers.

"It's really about making governments comfortable with these developments... getting governments to understand... to recognise the difficulties in the system," Hall tells Recharge. "We have to make sure that we have an energy system that is robust, that's climate-neutral and cost-efficient. We need to ask politicians for some policies that might help the whole [energy transition]."

The Vattenfall CEO will be helped by Patrick O’Doherty, chief executive of Irish utility ESB, and Leonhard Birnbaum, a board member at E.ON, who both become Eurelectric vice presidents.

Hall’s role at the top of Eurelectric strengthens Vattenfall’s representation at the top of Europe’s key industry bodies – the Swedish group's wind boss Gunnar Groebler was earlier this year named chairman at WindEurope.