Octopus Energy Generation: building green power for the future
We don’t just supply energy, we generate tonnes of it too.
We're one of Europe's largest investors in renewables: operating £4 billion worth of green energy generators across 7 countries
Here's a few of our latest projects…
At full capacity, Octopus sites currently generate enough green energy to power 2.1 million homes - and we’re building more by the minute
If you see a solar farm in the UK, there's a big chance we've got something to do with it - 1 in 10 solar farms in the UK are managed by Octopus!
Our energy system can't afford to rely on imported fossil fuels any longer. For a clean, reliable and affordable energy future the UK needs to rapidly build more renewables. So we're doing just that.
Great to see Octopus Renewables backing 690MW of new wind projects across the UK, France, Finland and Sweden— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) March 10, 2022
A fantastic British company working to strengthen European energy security
Wind power is now much cheaper than fossil fuels. We need to generate more cheap, clean power
With generation and supply under one roof, we’re able to do all sorts of exciting things that other generation businesses (and suppliers) can’t. For one, we use masses of clean, green energy from a whole host Octopus Energy Generation sites to power a large portion of Octopus Energy customers. But that's not all. Our renewable generation isn’t just geared towards investors, it’s driven by people like you and me - people who actually use those clean, green electrons.
A generation business unlike any other
At Octopus Energy Generation, we get wind and solar farms built. First, as ‘fund managers’, we search high and low for investment in renewables. Once we’ve found it, we’re responsible for getting spades in the ground, and for the everyday management and operation of those wind and solar farms too.
Still, even amongst ‘fund managers’, we’re pretty unique.
In 2010, our original backers - Octopus Group, set up a successful renewable generation business. In 2021, we acquired this ‘sister’ business and Octopus Energy Generation was born. Now we’re combining expertise from across the whole breadth of the energy industry to create a kind of generation business that’s never been seen before.
As fund managers, we have buckets of experience. We’re experts when it comes to capturing appetite for investment and we’ve got a solid investor platform to show for it: since merging we’ve grown from being worth £3.7bn to a massive £4.2bn!
At the same time, unlike other generation businesses, we also have all of that juicy Octopus Energy expertise - tech agility, understanding consumers and what they want, and the ability to actually engage end-customers - the people who actually use the energy we generate. All this adds up to something really quite special…
Revolutionising renewable investment:
We're on a mission to massively disrupt the renewable energy space in favour of consumers.Zoisa North-Bond, CEO - Octopus Energy Generation
Facing both the climate crisis and the gas crisis, we need renewables now more than ever. Investment in renewables has got us to where we are today, but it hasn’t yet reached its full potential.
For as long as anyone can remember, renewable investment has followed a similar pattern to fossil fuel investment. Revolutionising the energy system and generating more green electrons hasn’t been the main motivation. Instead, the focus has been on investors as they chase subsidies around Europe, building large projects to try and get the best returns on the money they put in. With this in mind, there’s also been a tendency to push renewable projects through without much thought for the communities nearby. This has sometimes caused a lot of friction, drumming up opposition to renewables and slowing down the green energy energy revolution - something nobody needs.
But recently things have been changing. Renewables have proven that they can operate without subsidies and still provide the cheapest source of energy around. In fact, According to Lazard’s 2021 analysis, power from new wind investment is around $30 per megawatt-hour cheaper than new gas (and mid-crisis, wind has been around £110 cheaper to produce).
With this in mind, the UK has been moving away from this ‘subsidy model’. In 2015, for example, the Government removed subsidies for on-shore wind. This gives us a golden opportunity to move away from outdated investment, opening the way to new, faster, forward-looking models for building renewables; models that focus on generation itself, driven by engaging and empowering end-customers.
Making people-powered energy a reality
Bringing supply and generation under one roof has allowed us to build a completely new kind of investment model for renewables - one where people and communities directly benefit from local generation.
In a nutshell, people get cheaper power from a local wind or solar farm when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining - and they have the opportunity to invest in and part-own that local generator too (something that would never have been possible with large-scale, ‘centralised’ fossil fuels).
It’s hard to underestimate quite how big this is for green energy. Giving people the chance to benefit from local renewable generation flips renewable investment on its head. The stifling tension between big investors and communities has been reconciled. Octopus Energy Generation has a model fit for the 21st century, where investors and communities are on the same side, working together to launch the renewable projects we so desperately need - and it’s already bearing fruit.
We’ve given our groundbreaking model a name: The Collective, and it’s already showing promise: we've already got two people-powered wind turbines already up and running, and once The Collective officially launches, we're on track to build 30 more in the next couple of years.
In fact, so far, over 1,200 communities across the country have contacted us to say they want to be involved in developing their own local generation.
Given the reaction from communities, investors have been quick to pick up on the potential for a streamlined, faster, less complicated building process. With that in mind, they’re pouring in money. By 2035, we’ve got plans for 1,000 people-powered projects up and down the country (supplying around 2.5 million households with green power) and 1,000 more around the world. In other words…
We're pledging to create a whopping £4 billion of people driven clean energy projects over the next decade. In order to do that we’ll be bringing the worlds of energy technology and institutional investment together, and opening up the opportunity for anyone who wishes to invest in energy projectsZoisa North-Bond, CEO - Octopus Energy Renewables
A people-powered pilot: Octopus Fan Club
Fan Club was the precursor to The Collective, and the first of many projects that will embody these values. It all started with our two biggest fans: #1 Fan in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire and #2 Fan in Caerphilly, South Wales.
These two gigantic wind turbines work a little differently to others up and down the country. People living nearby can join our special Fan-Club tariff. Then, when their local turbine is spinning, they get 20% off their energy bills (and when the wind is really blowing they get a whopping 50% off for every unit they use.) At a time when energy bills are through the roof, this offers customers a real, tangible glimmer of hope. We can’t wait to roll out more of these clean, green, bill-busting renewable projects to communities around the country.
Investing in cutting-edge green tech
When it comes to shaking up the world of renewable generation, we’re not stopping at wind farms… Octopus Energy Generation works with a wide range of different technologies. One day soon, we could see customer-driven Fan Club-style projects that allow coastal communities to drive (and benefit from) the building of off-shore wind, and we haven’t even got started on ‘Sun Club’ yet either!
Together with RES, we’re also pledging £3bn for building cutting-edge green hydrogen plants across the UK by 2030. Together, we’ll collectively develop, own and operate green plants which use excess renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen. This green hydrogen can then be used to decarbonise otherwise tricky sectors like transport and industry.
Further afield, we’re constantly keeping an eye on alternative renewable generation methods that are yet to reach their full potential, like tidal, and hydro.
Octopus Energy Generation is also working closely with energy boffins from across the other arms of Octopus Energy. For example, with the ‘flexibility’ experts at Octopus Energy’s KrakenFlex team - who work with storing clean, green electrons in batteries and other energy storage assets when they are abundant, and releasing them when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.
As Octopus Energy Generation CEO Zoisa North-Bond tells me:
It’s possible to envisage a future where London is surrounded by 10 big Fan-club style projects, supported by energy storage managed by experts like those at KrakenFlex. Together we could balance that renewable energy, storing it when it’s abundant and releasing it when needed. That’s one way we could power London - and other major cities - with 100% renewable energy
What’s Next for Octopus Energy Generation?
At Octopus, we’ve long believed that it’s ultimately people like you and me who will drive the green energy revolution. We’re constantly searching for investment, building the very latest in high-tech green generation and producing more and more green electrons for Octopus customers - and the world beyond. With you behind us, Octopus Energy Generation is truly making people-powered renewables a reality.
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