Free electricity for Scotland possible, says Octopus boss

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Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, stated that Scotland could experience periods of free electricity if Ofgem modified its regulations.

Speaking at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change’s conference in London, Jackson highlighted the need to focus on market reforms to better utilise renewable energy.

Jackson explained that the current energy market is flawed, emphasising the importance of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) and advocating for a shift towards merchant risk investment models.

He illustrated this with examples from Octopus Energy’s initiatives, such as offering discounted electricity rates to local communities during windy periods, which has garnered significant interest and support.

Greg Jackson said: “At the moment, in the UK, we have got a complete lack of price signals. So in the UK, every half hour, the electricity price across the UK is the same.

“It’s the same whether you’re in Scotland, and all the wind farms are turning. Or you’re in Slough, and we’ve got so little electricity, you can’t build data centres.

“Now this is crazy. What we need is a real reform of markets so that, for example, when it’s windy in Scotland, we don’t pay the wind farms to turn off.

“We give Scottish people cheap or free electricity at those times. And we can see that the shortage of electricity in other regions means, you know, we’ll build batteries in the southeast.

“It will give us the investment signals. And I think it is absolutely outrageous that one-third of the time, the interconnectors between the UK and other countries are flowing the wrong way.

“So, at the times we’re turning off the wind farms in Scotland, we’re importing electricity from Norway into Scotland. Because we’ve got absolutely screwy price signals. And, so I think the most innovative thing we need to do now is create much more dynamic pricing at the back end.”

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