Octopus Energy enters Asia with Tokyo Gas partnership
Octopus Energy Group has agreed a major strategic partnership with Tokyo Gas, one of Japan’s leading utilities, in a deal that values the UK entech pioneer in excess of $2 billion (£1.45 billion).
The agreement will see Octopus Energy and Tokyo Gas launch the Octopus Energy brand in Japan, operated by TG Octopus Energy, a 30:70 joint venture backed by working capital and growth funding provided by Tokyo Gas. International tech haven Tokyo will function as a launchpad for Octopus's expansion into the Asian market.
Octopus Energy in Japan will provide 100 percent renewable electricity amongst other services, helping to drive green energy in the world’s biggest competitive energy market. Japanese renewables lag the UK by 50 percent (renewables in Japan in 2019 accounted for 18.9 percent of electricity, compared with 37.9 percent in the UK) but the potential is huge and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has set of target of reaching net zero by 2050.
Octopus’s technology platform ‘Kraken’ will be licensed by the joint venture to deliver an improved customer experience and cleaner and smarter energy solutions to Japanese households. Today, Kraken is already contracted to serve 17 million energy accounts worldwide through Octopus’s own retail businesses, plus agreements with Good Energy, Hanwha Corporation, Origin Energy, nPower and E.ON.
The deal also sees Tokyo Gas take a 9.7 percent equity stake for consideration of $200m, alongside an approximate further $50m equity investment from Origin Energy, to continue its global expansion and technology development. This will see Octopus enhancing its smart grid capability and commitment to driving the green energy revolution around the world.
Since Origin’s initial investment in April, the fast-growth disruptor has launched in the USA and Germany. In the UK it has launched Electric Juice, the country’s first electric vehicle roaming network, and partnered with Tesla to launch Tesla Power. In November 2020, Octopus Energy was named “Technology Company Of The Year” at the National Technology Awards.
Octopus Energy, Founder and CEO, Greg Jackson said: “We are delighted to announce our agreement with Tokyo Gas, one of the most respected and successful Japanese utilities, to launch “Octopus Energy” in Japan. This Joint Venture will bring our exciting approach to renewable energy and technology to the world’s largest competitive energy market, and the investment will turbocharge our mission to revolutionise energy globally.
Octopus Energy Group bought Upside Energy, a leading energy software company based in Manchester, in November, with the aim of establishing the new energy technology (EnTech) hub as the 'Silicon Valley of Energy' (click here).
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.