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Octopus Energy expands into Spain with Umeme acquisition

Expanding into Spain means Octopus is now active in 11 countries. Image: Octopus Energy.

Expanding into Spain means Octopus is now active in 11 countries. Image: Octopus Energy.

British entech company Octopus Energy has entered the Spanish market with the acquisition of green energy startup Umeme.

The company is targeting attracting a million Spanish energy accounts to its brand by 2027, helping it reach its overall goal of 100 million accounts.

Octopus Energy now has retail, generation or tech licenses in 11 countries across four continents. This includes expanding into Germany in November 2020, the US in September 2020 and Australia in May 2020 – this final expansion including a 20% acquisition from integrated energy company Origin Energy, which turned Octopus Energy into a 'unicorn' startup.

It is one of the UK’s fastest growing private companies having grown its customer base to 2.4 million in just over five years, thanks to its proprietary cloud-based energy technology platform Kraken.

The expansion into Spain will be the first time outside of the UK that it is able to combine its renewable generation and supply businesses. Octopus Renewables acquired four solar sites in Andalusia in October 2020, with an expected capacity of 175MWp when completed in 2024.

Octopus Energy is acquiring its sister company – Octopus Renewables – bringing its supply and generation sides under the same roof.

Through the acquisition of Umeme therefore, Octopus Energy is planning to offer 100% renewable energy optimised by its Kraken platform in Spain amongst other services.

Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy said they were impressed by “Umeme’s entrepreneurial spirit and tech-led approach, which is very rare in the energy sector".

“Our targets for Spain may be high, but I have no doubt that we will see a similar growth trajectory in Spain as we did in our other locations. Since the beginning of the year, our German customer base doubled and in the US we increased customer numbers by a factor of five. There is no reason why we can’t deliver the same outstanding results in Spain.”

Umeme was launched in 2019 by four energy entrepreneurs who had built their own technology to optimise energy supply. It now serves almost 5,000 domestic and business customers across Spain.

The country has a booming renewable energy sector, with nearly half (44%) of electricity generated in Spain in 2020 coming from renewable energy. This is expected to continue to grow a pace as the price of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have dropped more than in any other European country this year.

“Like Octopus, we’ve been committed to 100% renewable energy from day one. Thankfully Spain is blessed with a lot of sun and strong winds,” said Roberto Giner, managing director at Umeme.

“By joining Octopus, we can now help make the most of this renewable energy and speed up Spain’s transition to a fully green energy system.”

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