This marks the biggest investment ever made in ground source tech in Britain. It will allow Kensa to rapidly expand and install 50,000 ground source heat pumps a year by 2030. The move will drive down costs of heat pumps and reduce reliance on polluting gas boilers.
The UK is targeting 600,000 heat pump installations a year by 2028 as part of wider efforts to decarbonise the economy. Unlocking investment through deals like this will help rapidly grow the country’s heat pump industry, meet net zero targets and deliver jobs. Kensa expects its growth to create over 7,000 green jobs in the UK by 2030.
By harnessing freely available heat energy in the ground or water, electrically powered ground source heat pumps work like a fridge in reverse. They produce around four units of clean heat for every one unit of electricity they consume, making them much more efficient than gas boilers. They’re recognised by the Government as a key solution to tackling heating emissions and weaning the country off gas.
This investment will make heat pumps even more accessible to more properties, including retrofits for social housing, terraced housing and non-domestic buildings. Finance will also be provided for Kensa to offer house builders, housing associations and non-domestic customers their ‘Networked Heat Pumps’ solution at a lower cost. This effectively creates a new renewable asset class, kick-starting a sector that could exceed £1 billion by 2030.
“The heat pump revolution is off to a flying start: it’s a tried and tested replacement for gas boilers and can drive down consumers’ energy bills for good” said Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation. “Backing Kensa will help rapidly expand Britain’s fast-growing ground source heat pump industry. This deal is a huge milestone for our exciting new energy transition fund, as we invest in ambitious companies rolling out tech to turbocharge the clean energy shift.”
This latest Kensa deal heralds Octopus Energy Group’s entry into the ground source heat pump market, and complements Octopus’ existing air source heat pump expertise. Octopus’ heat pump R&D centre is leading the way in creating a thriving low carbon heating economy, from training, engineering and installation.
“This is a monumental moment for ground source heat pumps” added Dr Matthew Trewhella, CEO of The Kensa Group. “This investment will help unlock Kensa’s vision of a mass transition to low carbon heating by replacing the gas grid with its 21st-century equivalent - an ambient temperature heat network. Our approach harnesses the power of investment capital funding infrastructure, reduces the strain on our electricity grid and enables a just transition - keeping heating costs low and addressing fuel poverty simultaneously with climate change mitigation. We’re extremely proud to partner with Octopus Energy and Legal & General Capital who show incredible leadership in bringing about our low carbon energy future.”
Octopus Energy Generation - which manages £6 billion of renewable assets and energy transition projects - makes this investment as the first deal from its new £500 million Octopus Energy Transition Fund (OETF), which is currently raising capital from investors.
OETF includes a cornerstone investment from Wandsworth Pension Fund. OETF is backing companies rolling out technologies decarbonising the economy, with projects in the pipeline globally in storage, grid and low carbon transport, green hydrogen and e-fuels.
This latest Kensa investment is subject to applicable regulatory approval and is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2023.
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