Green power mega developer Octopus will invest £1.5 billion in Asia’s energy markets by 2027, helping speed the region’s transition to cleaner, smarter energy.
The increasingly global cleantech group made the announcement as prime minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Japan yesterday to attend the G7 economic summit. Octopus’s Zoisa North-Bond is pictured with the PM at a reception in Tokyo.
The company plans to invest £1.2 billion into solar and wind generation in the region. Half that sum will go into Japanese renewables.
A further £300m is earmarked to expand Octopus’s tech innovation and energy retail hub in Tokyo. The hub has contributed to development of Octopus’ tech platform Kraken. Increasing local staff tenfold by 2027 could create as many as 1,000 green jobs for UK and local talent, the company said.
Japan is now Octopus’ second largest market after the UK. Through a two-year old joint venture with Tokyo Gas, the company serves nearly 200,000 retail customers, and targets millions more.
The move could also boost the firm’s British generation assets. It is looking to Asia-Pacific investors and others to raise £400 million by 2028 to build more UK wind and solar farms, and strengthen supply chains.
Japan’s clean energy intentions include boosting offshore wind capacity by 150 GW this decade and pushing solar capacity to more than 1 TWp.
The parties stressed the key role played in the deal by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement, recently signed by the British government. According to Octopus, it provides UK companies with increased protection and opportunities in member states.
Octopus founder Greg Jackson said: “International cooperation is the key to creating an energy transition which benefits consumers and economies as well as the climate.
“Our partnership with Tokyo Gas has grown ever stronger. Linking our businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to the UK and Europe, our operations in Japan have helped create a unique global technology ecosystem benefiting everyone. I’m excited to take it even further with today’s announcement.”
Julia Longbottom, Britain’s ambassador in Japan, welcomed the deal. “This investment demonstrates Octopus Energy’s strategic foresight and commitment to sustainable development, and is a vote of confidence in Japan’s vast and largely untapped renewable energy potential.
“Japan’s renewable energy market is ripe for investment. Now is the right time for British companies to step up collaboration with our Japanese partners, bringing together our shared expertise and commitment to green energy.
“The launch of our newly-forged UK-Japan renewable energy partnership marks a significant milestone in our bilateral collaboration; one that could set the stage for a boom in renewable energy projects in Japan. As we navigate this new era of energy transition, I am confident that UK companies, exemplified by Octopus Energy, will play an integral role in shaping a sustainable and prosperous future for the UK and Japan.”
The two nations share a bi-lateral Framework Agreement on renewables and offshore wind. It enables both countries to collaborate in innovation, capitalising on the immense potential of offshore wind power.