UK-based Octopus Energy has announced a major expansion into the European Union by investing in a company set to power a million homes. The power company’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. On the occasion of Octopus’ first investment in the renewable energy market in Portugal, they indicated that this partnership will help European countries end their dependence 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 the pipeline, and was involved in floating offshore wind energy development with a target of 5 GW.
Octopus noted that with their support, FFNEV is targeting new solar and storage 1.6 GW sites in these markets by 2030, which is enough to power 1 million homes, which is equivalent to removing nearly 520,000 petrol cars and planting more than 4.6 million trees.
In a statement, Octopus said: “Spain is one of the most active solar markets in Europe, with 15 gigawatts of solar capacity, huge untapped potential to meet targets of increasing renewable electricity generation to 74 percent by 2030.”
Meanwhile, Portugal has 2 gigawatts of installed solar capacity, and this year they announced plans to generate 80 percent of their electricity from green energy sources by 2026, replacing gas.
Zoesa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, comments: “Now more than ever, we need to build more green energy to help reduce reliance on gas and lower energy bills. Investments like this deal with FFNEV will help make a difference quickly. This latest news is just the beginning for us – we have big plans in this part of Europe.”
Vicente López Ibor Mayor, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FFNEV, said: “We founded and started FFNEV in 2018 and have been busy developing a high-quality pipeline in Iberia, driven by our successful, recognized and experienced team.
“We are delighted to build on our longstanding relationship with Octopus and have no doubt that this latest support will accelerate FFNEV’s growth in Iberia and beyond.”
Roberto Jenner, CEO of Octopus Energy Spain, said: “We have always been driven by our commitment to converting the energy system to 100% renewable sources. 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 United Kingdom, have scrambled to dump expensive fossil gas, the price of which has had a huge impact on millions of consumers.
As a result, the UK is ramping up its renewable energy generation which, according to Renewable UK, the Nuclear Industry Association and the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, has helped Britons save £6 billion on bills.
They argue that massive amounts of low-carbon energy have met more than half of the UK’s electricity needs over the past two months, cutting bills by billions.
An analysis by Renewable UK and the Nuclear Industry Association revealed that between the end of October and 18 December, clean energy sources such as wind and solar provided 40% of the country’s electricity, while nuclear power plants accounted for 14% of demand.
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Power that came from offshore and onshore wind turbines alone generated more than half of Britain’s low carbon energy production over this period, while nuclear provided 27 per cent.
Trade bodies argue that cheap power generation coming from these sources has helped cushion the blow from soaring wholesale gas prices, although billpayers clearly suffer some of the effects.
However, without much clean energy, the trade bodies argue the UK would have used more than 3.5 million cubic meters of gas, which they argue would have cost billpayers £5.7 billion.
Dan McGill, RenewableUK’s chief executive, said: “Every unit of electricity we produce from low-cost, low-carbon sources means less generation from expensive gas imports that have sent consumers’ bills through the roof. Renewables are lowering people’s bills, which helps enormously – downtrodden families when they need it most.”
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