The generation arm of internationally expanding Octopus Energy today announced its first ever dedicated investment drive focused on offshore wind, primed with capital from partner Tokyo Gas to plant turbines in Europe’s oceans.
The Japanese dual-fuel giant, an investor in the privately held UK firm and recent customer of its Kraken fulfilment technology, is stumping up £190 million seed capital to get more blades spinning.
With a remit starting in Europe to invest in, develop, build and operate marine farms, Octopus’ new Energy Offshore Wind fund intends to create a portfolio worth £3 billion as this decade ends. Both conventional rooted turbines and their floating sisters moored amid stronger winds will be considered.
Today’s announcement is the next step in Octopus’ plans to unleash £15 billion into wind power.
Octopus first invested in marine farms last year with its stakes in Hornsea One and Lincs in British waters. It then rapidly scaled up its interests, backing one of Europe’s largest farms, Borssele III & IV off the Netherlands.
South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and Spain have attracted the company’s cash, with commitments to support offshore developers.
With 64 GW of installed capacity globally, offshore wind is already one of the most important renewable sources. It will play a key role in the world’s future energy systems, with forecasts expecting it to increase to 447 GW over the next ten years. They come as one important trade source predicts offshore wind will be a trillion dollar industry by 2030.
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to launch our first ever fund dedicated solely to offshore wind investment together with such a visionary partner Tokyo Gas. The potential to make a positive impact, boost energy security and reduce fossil fuels dependence is massive with offshore wind.
“This latest partnership further deepens our relationship with Tokyo Gas. We look forward to welcoming on board more investors so together we can tap into this huge offshore wind opportunity worldwide.”
Kentaro Kimoto, Vice President of Tokyo Gas, said: “Tokyo Gas and Octopus Energy have been providing more customers nationwide in Japan with clean electricity derived from renewable energy sources through TG Octopus Energy. It is our pleasure that our commitment to the Fund is developing and reinforcing the strategic partnership with Octopus Energy for investments in the offshore wind space.
“Tokyo Gas has set a target to acquire and trade 6 GW renewable power sources by 2030. To accomplish this goal, we have proactively taken multifaceted approaches for offshore wind projects, and will accelerate developments of offshore wind, including floating offshore wind.”
Julia Longbottom CMG, British Ambassador to Japan, said: “I am delighted to welcome this significant cornerstone investment from Tokyo Gas into the Octopus Energy Offshore Wind Fund, which will boost offshore wind development in the UK and globally. This is a clear sign of the growing partnership between the UK and Japan on offshore wind, which was further strengthened by the Hiroshima Accord.
“The UK is a world leader in offshore wind, and we are committed to growing this sector even further. I am particularly pleased that this investment is coming from Tokyo Gas, a leading Japanese energy company. Japanese companies are recognising the UK’s potential as a global hub for offshore wind, forming strategic alliances with leading and innovative UK partners like Octopus. They also increasingly recognise the UK’s credentials as an international financial centre and global hub for asset and investment management.
“The UK-Japan partnership on offshore wind is growing in strength every year, and it is playing a vital role in our global efforts to tackle climate change. I am confident that this investment will help us to achieve our shared goals and build a better future for both of our countries.”
This deal further strengthens Octopus Energy Group’s and Tokyo Gas’s strategic partnership who joined forces in 2020 to set up the energy supplier Octopus Energy in Japan.
Earlier this year, Octopus also announced plans to rapidly scale Asia-Pacific renewables investment as well as expanding its Tokyo tech innovation and energy retail hub.