UK-based firm Octopus Energy has announced a major expansion into the EU by investing in a company that’s set to power a million homes. The energy firm’s generation arm has green energy developer FF New Energy Ventures (FFNEV) to develop more floating offshore wind and solar power in Spain and Portugal. Marking Octopus’s first investment in Portugal’s renewable energy market, they noted that this partnership would help European countries end their reliance on natural gas and other fossil fuel imports. The company added that it is also looking to accelerate expansion into new European countries and Latin America in the future.
Prior to this investment, FFNEV already had 2.1 GW of renewable energy projects in their pipeline, and had been participating in floating offshore wind development with a target of 5GW.
Octopus noted that through their backing, FFNEV is targeting 1.6GW new solar and storage sites in these markets by 2030, which is enough to power a million homes, which is equivalent of removing nearly 520,000 petrol cars and planting over 4.6 million trees.
In a statement, Octopus said: “Spain is one of Europe’s most active solar markets, with 15 GW of solar capacity, and huge untapped potential to meet targets to increase its renewable electricity generation to 74 percent by 2030.”
Meanwhile, Portugal has 2 GW of solar power installed, and this year they announced plans to generate 80 percent of its electricity from green energy sources by 2026, replacing gas.
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, comments: “Now more than ever before, we need to build more green power to help reduce gas reliance and bring down energy bills. Investments like this deal with FFNEV will help make a difference quickly. This latest news is only the beginning for us – as we’ve got big plans in this part of Europe.”
Vicente Lopez-Ibor Mayor, Chairman of FFNEV, said: “We founded and started FFNEV in 2018 and have been busy developing a top-quality pipeline in Iberia, driven by our successful, recognised and experienced team.
“We’re delighted to be building on our long-standing relationship with Octopus and have no doubt this latest backing will accelerate FFNEV’s growth in Iberia and abroad.”
Roberto Giner, CEO of Octopus Energy Spain, said: “We’ve always been driven by our commitment to transform the energy system to 100% renewables. This latest news is an exciting milestone in Octopus’ journey in Spain as we continue to grow our footprint.”
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Over the past year, European countries, including the UK have scrambled to wean themselves off expensive fossil gas, the price of which has had a huge knock impact on millions of consumers.
As a result, the UK has been ramping up its renewable energy generation which, according to Renewable UK, the Nuclear Industry Association, and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, has helped save Britons £6billion in bills.
They argue that vast amounts of low-carbon power have met more than half of the UK’s electricity needs over the past two months, slashing billions off bills.
Analysis by Renewable UK and the Nuclear Industry Association has revealed that between the end of October and December 18, clean energy sources like wind and solar provided 40 percent of the country’s electricity, while nuclear power plants accounted for 14 percent of demand.
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The power that came from both offshore and onshore wind turbines alone generated more than half of Britain’s low carbon power output over the period, while nuclear supplied 27 percent.
The trade bodies argue that the cheap power generation coming from these sources has helped to soften the blow of the skyrocketing wholesale gas prices, despite billpayers evidently suffering from some of the impacts.
However, without so much clean energy, the trade bodies argue that the UK would have used more than 3.5 million cubic metres of gas, which they argue would have cost billpayers a staggering £5.7billion.
Dan McGrail, the CEO of RenewableUK’s, said: “Every unit of electricity which we generate from cost-effective low carbon sources means one less generated by expensive gas imports which have sent consumer bills through the roof. Renewables are cutting people’s bills, helping hard-pressed families when they need it most.”