Why our Generation arm invests in many types of green power

There’s no single solution to ending fossil fuels: getting to Net Zero will take a million tiny changes. We’re investing in a myriad of different green technologies, from the ultra-cutting-edge to tried and tested, to help transform the energy system faster. One of them is waste-to-energy generation.

What is waste-to-energy?

Households and businesses produce a lot of waste, and what can’t be fully recycled does still need to be dealt with. Energy recovery facilities essentially take waste that cannot be recycled any further and burn it to create energy. Instead of this going into landfills or being shipped abroad, these facilities provide a clean and safe way to treat this waste.

Why is it important?

It avoids greenhouse gas emissions and land contamination.

Burning waste doesn’t sound very green. But the truth is a bit more complex. This is waste that can’t be recycled, so it’ll otherwise sit in a landfill. That’s very much not what we want: as well as local environmental impacts, landfill produces a combination of carbon dioxide and methane - and methane has really significant global warming impacts – roughly 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping radiation in the atmosphere!

Landfill also leads to land contamination issues, as it leaves a legacy of toxic chemicals which are potentially hazardous for decades. Anything we can do to prevent more landfill is hugely important.

It helps make our green energy supply more reliable and consistent.

Energy recovery facilities can also burn their waste on demand (working like an old style power station) which means we can get power consistently. This makes it a great complement to other clean energy sources that are more intermittent, like wind and solar. They also provide local jobs in the construction and operations of the power station and within the wider supply chain.

What does Octopus do in this space?

Our generation arm Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy. We live in a world where there simply isn’t enough green energy so we’re doing everything we can to ramp this up, and make it as cheap as possible for people.

Our team manages more than 300 projects across 13 countries, in onshore wind, offshore wind, rooftop solar power, solar farms and much more - all with a mission to generate cheaper and cleaner energy for customers.

Our generation business manages these assets on behalf of funds - and those funds get their money from institutions like pension funds and insurance companies. As part of the broader energy transition we’re investing in, the funds managed by the team invest in a small number of projects in this space.

This is one part of the bigger picture and until we all produce no waste at all, we feel it’s important we deal with what’s leftover from recycling as best as we can, to ultimately prevent the build-up of harmful landfill.

Published on 29th June 2023 by:

image of Mike Bullard

Mike Bullard

Octopus Asset Management Director

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!