Sustainable power firm Octopus Energy has said it wants to make the UK the “Silicon Valley of energy” as it announced 1,000 new jobs across England.
Octopus’s announcement on Monday was welcomed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said it will create “exciting opportunities across the country for those who want to be at the cutting edge of the global green revolution”.
The plan includes a new technology, data science and artificial intelligence centre in Manchester, the firm said.
It said the new jobs will be at its sites in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester and will primarily go to science and engineering graduates.
The Prime Minister said: “These 1,000 jobs will provide exciting opportunities across the country for those who want to be at the cutting edge of the global green revolution.
“And it’s UK tech companies like Octopus who will ensure we continue to build back greener and remain a world leader in pioneering renewable energy, leading the path to net zero whilst creating thousands of skilled jobs.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “More green jobs is not only good news for British job seekers – it’s a vote of confidence in the UK economy as it recovers, and pivotal to our collective efforts to build a greener, cleaner planet.”
Octopus, which specialises in providing energy using renewable sources, was founded in 2016 and its domestic energy arm has 1.7 million customers.
In April, Octopus Energy Group became a UK tech unicorn, which means it was valued at over £1 billion, following an investment from leading Australian energy company Origin Energy.
The company said it plans to double its existing workforce by the end of 2021 and said the new Manchester-based technology centre will develop the “smart grid technologies required for a renewable system and the electrification of transport and heating”.
Chief executive Greg Jackson said: “When Apple created the App Store, nobody knew that it would change the way we order food or transport forever.
“Through ‘Kraken’, our cloud-based energy platform, we’re revolutionising the energy industry in the same way, creating jobs not just through increased demand for affordable renewables, but by facilitating the development of new and emerging industries like electric vehicles, electric heating and vertical farming.
“Our technology is making the UK the Silicon Valley of energy, and along with a flourishing market, can help make Britain the best place to invest in creating new clean electricity generation”