Green entrepreneur looks to ‘pass the baton’ and move in a new direction.
Dr Dale Vince OBE – the green industrialist, founder of Ecotricity, inventor of the Sky Diamond, and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, has today announced he’s looking to find a new owner for Ecotricity – the world’s first green energy company, as he considers a move in a very different direction – into the world of politics.
In a message to the company’s staff, later shared on social media, Dale said the move was to “clear the decks for some new frontiers” including the next general election, which he described as the “most important of our lives”. He first teased a move into politics in his book Manifesto, published in 2020.
Dale is looking for a new owner that shares Ecotricity’s commitment to green energy and has the funding to turbocharge the development of the company’s green energy pipeline. Currently, Ecotricity has 2,500 megawatts of renewable energy generation in planning – more than twenty times what the company has built organically, using its “bills into mills” funding model over the past quarter century. Building this green energy pipeline will require an investment of some £2bn.
A new age traveller who spent over a decade on the road, Dale founded Ecotricity from a single windmill in 1995. Today, the company supplies around 200,000 homes and businesses across Britain with renewable energy from the wind and sun. The company employs more than 800 people and has a turnover of over £300m this year.
Ecotricity pioneered the use of wind and sun power – building Britain’s first megawatt scale windmill and solar project and brought green gas to Britain. Making green gas from grass is the company’s latest renewable energy innovation – its first green gas mill is under construction now in Berkshire – it will demonstrate a new way to make gas and deliver energy independence.
Ecotricity is in the biggest year of construction in its history - creating around 30 megawatts of renewable energy with two solar parks and a battery storage project, alongside the green gasmill - all due to be completed this year. That’s a 30% increase in what the company has built over the last two decades.
Dale will continue his work in football as Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, Climate Champion for Sport with the UN and as a sustainability advisor to UEFA. Work continues on Eco Park – the 4000-job green tech business park and new home for FGR - in Stroud.
On the decision to say goodbye to Ecotricity, Dale Vince, said:
“This is a huge decision – it’s been my life for a long time and is arguably my life’s work. But it’s the right decision at the right time – our pipeline of green energy projects is way beyond what we can fund ourselves, while at the same time, the country’s need for new sources of renewable energy has never been bigger.
"Or more urgent - we’re halfway through the vital last decade, the UN said we had to avoid the worst of climate change, and little has changed in that time. The good news is that the war in Europe has finally brought the attention of our government to this issue, through the risk to energy supplies and the newfound interest in Energy Independence.
“By passing the baton now to a new owner, Ecotricity will be able to play a big role in the accelerated shift to 100% green energy on the grid. And I will be able to play a part in the next general election in some way or another. We have everything we need to get to net zero as a country, we have the technology, economics is on our side, as are the public - we clearly have the need, what we lack are politicians that get it and the policies that will help make it happen - faster.
“I believe this will be the most important election of our lives.”
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