26th November 2019
Octopus Renewables: Europe’s biggest solar generators
Matt Bunney, Head of Fuel Procurement
Lots of people ask us where our cute name comes from. We’re named after our backers – Octopus Group – Europe’s largest investor in solar energy, and one of the UK’s largest venture investors, supporting a number of the UK’s most successful technology businesses.
Octopus Group has its tentacles in many pies, and another of those tentacles is Octopus Renewables, who pump over four terawatt hours of green energy into the grid every year. We wanted to break down some of the great work they’ve been doing to make the energy grid greener for all.
Their global renewables portfolio is worth over £3 billion, and saves over 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Solar power is their bread and butter. Octopus Renewables have enough panels in the UK to cover 29,800 tennis courts.
Their sites generate enough green energy to power 1.15 million UK homes.
These sites can be broken down into:
- Light Blue – Solar
- Red – Onshore Wind
- Dark Blue – GSHP (ground source heat pump)
- Orange – Biomass and Landfill Gas
Now Octopus Renewables are leading with wind energy too
Our sister company has just announced that their portfolio is expanding again, having just invested £86m in nine new wind farms across the UK, Ireland, and France. This means they now have over 470 megawatts of wind generation capacity from 21 sites.
Every gigawatt counts: investing locally with Co-op Community Energy
Here at Octopus Energy, we’ve also been helping to lead the charge, and last week we launched a joint venture with Midcounties Cooperative to support community generation across the UK. Together, we’ve already secured five new Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with hydro-electric sites operated by the National Trust across Wales.
This adds to our own growing portfolio. So far, we’ve teamed up with more than 79 renewable generators around the country to provide over 110 gigawatt hours of sun, wind and hydro power to our customers. Our commitment to local and community generation was one of the reasons that, in 2019, we were voted ‘the company that has done the most to advance renewables’ by the Renewable Energy Association.
Why is new investment in green energy so important?
If you’re on a green energy tariff, you aren’t actually getting green energy straight to your house. Instead, you are investing in sending more green energy into the grid – cleaning up the ‘pool’ of dirty energy the UK draws from by pumping a steady stream of fresher, cleaner energy that will gradually benefit everyone. Choosing a green supplier is all about being part of the movement towards an overall greener grid mix, and so for all the energy we buy from the grid, Octopus Renewables sends the same amount of renewables back to the grid, and Octopus Energy adds extra investment in UK renewables through getting green power directly from community generators, and buying REGO certificates. If you want to know more about more about our relationship with Octopus Renewables, and together, what our supply chain looks like compared to other ‘direct’ green suppliers, see the diagram below:
Or you can take a look at our blog explaining just how green Octopus Energy is for a more in-depth explanation!
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