Interview: Sam Goss, Octopus Renewables

Sam Goss, Head of Investments at Octopus Renewables, joined the company in 2014 and has played a key role in its expansion into the wind industry. Richard Heap spoke to him for his views on innovation in the sector.

Richard Heap
April 28, 2022
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Interview: Sam Goss, Octopus Renewables

Sam Goss, Head of Investments at Octopus Renewables, joined the company in 2014 and has played a key role in its expansion into the wind industry. Richard Heap spoke to him for his views on innovation in the sector.

Sam will join us at Financing Wind Europe in London on 26th May to discuss the future of the European onshore wind sector.

A Word About Wind members can register here.

What role have you played in the Octopus Renewables journey?

I joined in 2014 from Platina Partners to help expand beyond its roots in solar. Now we have a portfolio worth roughly £4bn, at around 3GW capacity. We’re one of the largest investors in solar in Europe, a leading investor in wind, and we also invest in other technologies like bioenergy.

Geographically, the UK is our home market, but we have been in France since 2012 and first invested in Italy in 2015. In the last three years we have grown into Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Sweden - and we’ve got more countries in the pipeline.

Where does the business sit in the broader Octopus group?

Octopus Energy’s supply business launched to the market in 2016 and, besides Octopus Investments, is now backed by Tokyo Gas, Origin Energy, Generation Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investments Board.

Octopus Renewables is now part of Octopus Energy Group. Bringing renewable generation together with supply means we can find ways to add value to investors in the funds we manage, whilst also lowering the cost of energy to consumers.

What problem does this help solve?

The energy landscape in the UK is changing quickly but at the moment we see plenty of capital but too few projects. Investment and effort should be focused on bringing more renewable projects to fruition faster as permitting can often be a real bottleneck.

In the future, we definitely see the customer playing a huge role in both supporting the development and financing for renewable energy projects. An innovative example we’ve seen within Octopus Energy is the ‘Fan Club’ model, where local communities living near Octopus’ Fan Club wind turbines are given cheaper energy rates when the wind is blowing - and the response has been really positive.

Can we progress this discussion at Financing Wind Europe?

I’d love to look at what other ideas there are to speed up building more renewables as there is currently far more capital than projects under development - and that’s true across the whole of Europe.

We need to think of more creative models to foster more innovative financing of renewables. For example, we were the first investors to build grid-scale solar in Europe without subsidies, so we’ve long been a leader in building renewables across Europe without government subsidies.

We see a significant opportunity to build more compelling investment cases using bespoke portfolios of renewable assets at scale, across technologies and countries, to create better outcomes for investors. And since joining Octopus Energy Group, we’ve seen first-hand interesting innovations from across the business and how this can lead to better outcomes for investors, consumers and the environment.

What other issues could be addressed with more collaboration?

Flexible and more localised pricing is an interesting area to explore, and this refers to where pricing is set based on both the needs of a functioning wholesale market and capacity levels on the grid. Through this, you could incentivise consumers to use energy when it’s cheapest (and greenest) to produce as well as, critically, to transport. And doing so you also create better pricing signals for where investment should go into new renewables and grid.

How can we help wind achieve its potential in the next five years?

Clearly, there’s a lot of discussion about energy security in Europe right now, and I hope this opportunity for renewables doesn’t get missed. For example, when it comes to onshore wind, we know that it’s the cheapest form of energy we have available to us that we can build quickly.

Wind energy without a doubt will make a significant contribution to Europe’s green energy system both now and in the future.

Sam Goss, Head of Investments at Octopus Renewables, joined the company in 2014 and has played a key role in its expansion into the wind industry. Richard Heap spoke to him for his views on innovation in the sector.

Sam will join us at Financing Wind Europe in London on 26th May to discuss the future of the European onshore wind sector.

A Word About Wind members can register here.

What role have you played in the Octopus Renewables journey?

I joined in 2014 from Platina Partners to help expand beyond its roots in solar. Now we have a portfolio worth roughly £4bn, at around 3GW capacity. We’re one of the largest investors in solar in Europe, a leading investor in wind, and we also invest in other technologies like bioenergy.

Geographically, the UK is our home market, but we have been in France since 2012 and first invested in Italy in 2015. In the last three years we have grown into Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Sweden - and we’ve got more countries in the pipeline.

Where does the business sit in the broader Octopus group?

Octopus Energy’s supply business launched to the market in 2016 and, besides Octopus Investments, is now backed by Tokyo Gas, Origin Energy, Generation Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investments Board.

Octopus Renewables is now part of Octopus Energy Group. Bringing renewable generation together with supply means we can find ways to add value to investors in the funds we manage, whilst also lowering the cost of energy to consumers.

What problem does this help solve?

The energy landscape in the UK is changing quickly but at the moment we see plenty of capital but too few projects. Investment and effort should be focused on bringing more renewable projects to fruition faster as permitting can often be a real bottleneck.

In the future, we definitely see the customer playing a huge role in both supporting the development and financing for renewable energy projects. An innovative example we’ve seen within Octopus Energy is the ‘Fan Club’ model, where local communities living near Octopus’ Fan Club wind turbines are given cheaper energy rates when the wind is blowing - and the response has been really positive.

Can we progress this discussion at Financing Wind Europe?

I’d love to look at what other ideas there are to speed up building more renewables as there is currently far more capital than projects under development - and that’s true across the whole of Europe.

We need to think of more creative models to foster more innovative financing of renewables. For example, we were the first investors to build grid-scale solar in Europe without subsidies, so we’ve long been a leader in building renewables across Europe without government subsidies.

We see a significant opportunity to build more compelling investment cases using bespoke portfolios of renewable assets at scale, across technologies and countries, to create better outcomes for investors. And since joining Octopus Energy Group, we’ve seen first-hand interesting innovations from across the business and how this can lead to better outcomes for investors, consumers and the environment.

What other issues could be addressed with more collaboration?

Flexible and more localised pricing is an interesting area to explore, and this refers to where pricing is set based on both the needs of a functioning wholesale market and capacity levels on the grid. Through this, you could incentivise consumers to use energy when it’s cheapest (and greenest) to produce as well as, critically, to transport. And doing so you also create better pricing signals for where investment should go into new renewables and grid.

How can we help wind achieve its potential in the next five years?

Clearly, there’s a lot of discussion about energy security in Europe right now, and I hope this opportunity for renewables doesn’t get missed. For example, when it comes to onshore wind, we know that it’s the cheapest form of energy we have available to us that we can build quickly.

Wind energy without a doubt will make a significant contribution to Europe’s green energy system both now and in the future.

Sam Goss, Head of Investments at Octopus Renewables, joined the company in 2014 and has played a key role in its expansion into the wind industry. Richard Heap spoke to him for his views on innovation in the sector.

Sam will join us at Financing Wind Europe in London on 26th May to discuss the future of the European onshore wind sector.

A Word About Wind members can register here.

What role have you played in the Octopus Renewables journey?

I joined in 2014 from Platina Partners to help expand beyond its roots in solar. Now we have a portfolio worth roughly £4bn, at around 3GW capacity. We’re one of the largest investors in solar in Europe, a leading investor in wind, and we also invest in other technologies like bioenergy.

Geographically, the UK is our home market, but we have been in France since 2012 and first invested in Italy in 2015. In the last three years we have grown into Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Sweden - and we’ve got more countries in the pipeline.

Where does the business sit in the broader Octopus group?

Octopus Energy’s supply business launched to the market in 2016 and, besides Octopus Investments, is now backed by Tokyo Gas, Origin Energy, Generation Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investments Board.

Octopus Renewables is now part of Octopus Energy Group. Bringing renewable generation together with supply means we can find ways to add value to investors in the funds we manage, whilst also lowering the cost of energy to consumers.

What problem does this help solve?

The energy landscape in the UK is changing quickly but at the moment we see plenty of capital but too few projects. Investment and effort should be focused on bringing more renewable projects to fruition faster as permitting can often be a real bottleneck.

In the future, we definitely see the customer playing a huge role in both supporting the development and financing for renewable energy projects. An innovative example we’ve seen within Octopus Energy is the ‘Fan Club’ model, where local communities living near Octopus’ Fan Club wind turbines are given cheaper energy rates when the wind is blowing - and the response has been really positive.

Can we progress this discussion at Financing Wind Europe?

I’d love to look at what other ideas there are to speed up building more renewables as there is currently far more capital than projects under development - and that’s true across the whole of Europe.

We need to think of more creative models to foster more innovative financing of renewables. For example, we were the first investors to build grid-scale solar in Europe without subsidies, so we’ve long been a leader in building renewables across Europe without government subsidies.

We see a significant opportunity to build more compelling investment cases using bespoke portfolios of renewable assets at scale, across technologies and countries, to create better outcomes for investors. And since joining Octopus Energy Group, we’ve seen first-hand interesting innovations from across the business and how this can lead to better outcomes for investors, consumers and the environment.

What other issues could be addressed with more collaboration?

Flexible and more localised pricing is an interesting area to explore, and this refers to where pricing is set based on both the needs of a functioning wholesale market and capacity levels on the grid. Through this, you could incentivise consumers to use energy when it’s cheapest (and greenest) to produce as well as, critically, to transport. And doing so you also create better pricing signals for where investment should go into new renewables and grid.

How can we help wind achieve its potential in the next five years?

Clearly, there’s a lot of discussion about energy security in Europe right now, and I hope this opportunity for renewables doesn’t get missed. For example, when it comes to onshore wind, we know that it’s the cheapest form of energy we have available to us that we can build quickly.

Wind energy without a doubt will make a significant contribution to Europe’s green energy system both now and in the future.

Sam Goss, Head of Investments at Octopus Renewables, joined the company in 2014 and has played a key role in its expansion into the wind industry. Richard Heap spoke to him for his views on innovation in the sector.

Sam will join us at Financing Wind Europe in London on 26th May to discuss the future of the European onshore wind sector.

A Word About Wind members can register here.

What role have you played in the Octopus Renewables journey?

I joined in 2014 from Platina Partners to help expand beyond its roots in solar. Now we have a portfolio worth roughly £4bn, at around 3GW capacity. We’re one of the largest investors in solar in Europe, a leading investor in wind, and we also invest in other technologies like bioenergy.

Geographically, the UK is our home market, but we have been in France since 2012 and first invested in Italy in 2015. In the last three years we have grown into Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Sweden - and we’ve got more countries in the pipeline.

Where does the business sit in the broader Octopus group?

Octopus Energy’s supply business launched to the market in 2016 and, besides Octopus Investments, is now backed by Tokyo Gas, Origin Energy, Generation Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investments Board.

Octopus Renewables is now part of Octopus Energy Group. Bringing renewable generation together with supply means we can find ways to add value to investors in the funds we manage, whilst also lowering the cost of energy to consumers.

What problem does this help solve?

The energy landscape in the UK is changing quickly but at the moment we see plenty of capital but too few projects. Investment and effort should be focused on bringing more renewable projects to fruition faster as permitting can often be a real bottleneck.

In the future, we definitely see the customer playing a huge role in both supporting the development and financing for renewable energy projects. An innovative example we’ve seen within Octopus Energy is the ‘Fan Club’ model, where local communities living near Octopus’ Fan Club wind turbines are given cheaper energy rates when the wind is blowing - and the response has been really positive.

Can we progress this discussion at Financing Wind Europe?

I’d love to look at what other ideas there are to speed up building more renewables as there is currently far more capital than projects under development - and that’s true across the whole of Europe.

We need to think of more creative models to foster more innovative financing of renewables. For example, we were the first investors to build grid-scale solar in Europe without subsidies, so we’ve long been a leader in building renewables across Europe without government subsidies.

We see a significant opportunity to build more compelling investment cases using bespoke portfolios of renewable assets at scale, across technologies and countries, to create better outcomes for investors. And since joining Octopus Energy Group, we’ve seen first-hand interesting innovations from across the business and how this can lead to better outcomes for investors, consumers and the environment.

What other issues could be addressed with more collaboration?

Flexible and more localised pricing is an interesting area to explore, and this refers to where pricing is set based on both the needs of a functioning wholesale market and capacity levels on the grid. Through this, you could incentivise consumers to use energy when it’s cheapest (and greenest) to produce as well as, critically, to transport. And doing so you also create better pricing signals for where investment should go into new renewables and grid.

How can we help wind achieve its potential in the next five years?

Clearly, there’s a lot of discussion about energy security in Europe right now, and I hope this opportunity for renewables doesn’t get missed. For example, when it comes to onshore wind, we know that it’s the cheapest form of energy we have available to us that we can build quickly.

Wind energy without a doubt will make a significant contribution to Europe’s green energy system both now and in the future.

Sam Goss, Head of Investments at Octopus Renewables, joined the company in 2014 and has played a key role in its expansion into the wind industry. Richard Heap spoke to him for his views on innovation in the sector.

Sam will join us at Financing Wind Europe in London on 26th May to discuss the future of the European onshore wind sector.

A Word About Wind members can register here.

What role have you played in the Octopus Renewables journey?

I joined in 2014 from Platina Partners to help expand beyond its roots in solar. Now we have a portfolio worth roughly £4bn, at around 3GW capacity. We’re one of the largest investors in solar in Europe, a leading investor in wind, and we also invest in other technologies like bioenergy.

Geographically, the UK is our home market, but we have been in France since 2012 and first invested in Italy in 2015. In the last three years we have grown into Finland, Ireland, Poland, Spain and Sweden - and we’ve got more countries in the pipeline.

Where does the business sit in the broader Octopus group?

Octopus Energy’s supply business launched to the market in 2016 and, besides Octopus Investments, is now backed by Tokyo Gas, Origin Energy, Generation Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investments Board.

Octopus Renewables is now part of Octopus Energy Group. Bringing renewable generation together with supply means we can find ways to add value to investors in the funds we manage, whilst also lowering the cost of energy to consumers.

What problem does this help solve?

The energy landscape in the UK is changing quickly but at the moment we see plenty of capital but too few projects. Investment and effort should be focused on bringing more renewable projects to fruition faster as permitting can often be a real bottleneck.

In the future, we definitely see the customer playing a huge role in both supporting the development and financing for renewable energy projects. An innovative example we’ve seen within Octopus Energy is the ‘Fan Club’ model, where local communities living near Octopus’ Fan Club wind turbines are given cheaper energy rates when the wind is blowing - and the response has been really positive.

Can we progress this discussion at Financing Wind Europe?

I’d love to look at what other ideas there are to speed up building more renewables as there is currently far more capital than projects under development - and that’s true across the whole of Europe.

We need to think of more creative models to foster more innovative financing of renewables. For example, we were the first investors to build grid-scale solar in Europe without subsidies, so we’ve long been a leader in building renewables across Europe without government subsidies.

We see a significant opportunity to build more compelling investment cases using bespoke portfolios of renewable assets at scale, across technologies and countries, to create better outcomes for investors. And since joining Octopus Energy Group, we’ve seen first-hand interesting innovations from across the business and how this can lead to better outcomes for investors, consumers and the environment.

What other issues could be addressed with more collaboration?

Flexible and more localised pricing is an interesting area to explore, and this refers to where pricing is set based on both the needs of a functioning wholesale market and capacity levels on the grid. Through this, you could incentivise consumers to use energy when it’s cheapest (and greenest) to produce as well as, critically, to transport. And doing so you also create better pricing signals for where investment should go into new renewables and grid.

How can we help wind achieve its potential in the next five years?

Clearly, there’s a lot of discussion about energy security in Europe right now, and I hope this opportunity for renewables doesn’t get missed. For example, when it comes to onshore wind, we know that it’s the cheapest form of energy we have available to us that we can build quickly.

Wind energy without a doubt will make a significant contribution to Europe’s green energy system both now and in the future.

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Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.