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New Energy World
New Energy World embraces the whole energy industry as it connects and converges to address the decarbonisation challenge. It covers progress being made across the industry, from the dynamics under way to reduce emissions in oil and gas, through improvements to the efficiency of energy conversion and use, to cutting-edge initiatives in renewable and low carbon technologies.
Octopus Energy has unveiled a ‘Plots for Kilowatts’ initiative in the UK that calls on landowners to register their interest in hosting an onshore wind turbine, with Octopus matching this up with community demand.
The ‘dating agency’-type platform will marry up where communities have registered their interest with where landowners can provide land for local wind turbines, and overlaying this with data on grid availability, wind speeds and environmental impact. This will help identify at least 10 viable sites by the end of summer, says Octopus Energy. These potential locations will be put forward to the UK government to consider as part of its recently announced development plans for onshore wind as outlined in its Energy Security Strategy.
The campaign is the next step in Octopus’ mission to lower energy bills for local communities by building more onshore wind projects. It follows recent research by the company, which found that 9 out of 10 people (87%) would support a turbine in their community if it meant discounted energy rates.
Octopus launched its innovative local wind tariff – the ‘Fan Club’ – in January 2021, offering communities living close to its wind turbines up to 50% discount on their energy rates. Since launching, over 5,000 communities have got in touch asking for their own ‘Fan’.
The UK’s top 30 landowners own over 1,500,000 acres of land and if just 1% of this land was rented for wind turbines, over 1,500 wind turbines could be built, according to Octopus analysis. By being part of this, landowners have the opportunity to secure additional revenue streams through rent or a share of the project’s income, whilst giving back to their local community through discounted bills, says the company.
The new campaign comes as UK onshore wind energy costs have more than halved over the last decade. According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), onshore wind energy costs have fallen from £95/MWh in 2013 to £46/MWh in 2020. Onshore wind energy is now the fastest and cheapest way to wean the UK off gas and increase the country’s energy independence, states Octopus.
Commenting on the initiative, Greg Hands, Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change says: ‘Now more than ever we need bold plans to scale up and accelerate clean and secure energy… Octopus Energy’s new “Plots for Kilowatts” campaign is an exceptional example of just this. This cooperation between industry and local communities is an important development and could help drive forward new onshore wind projects in local communities that want them, across the country.’
Octopus Energy has been stepping up its generation capabilities, and plans to create 18 GW of clean energy generation projects by 2027.