UK Energy boss Dale Vince’s appearance on Radio 4’sThe World This Weekend on Sunday, to announce his entry into politics, was a great piece of self-promotion ahead of the sale of Ecotricity – the green energy company he founded 25 years ago
What better excuse for a sale? And what better time than now to cash out, when interest in renewables is peaking? He could also bring a lot of funding into the Green Party ahead of the council elections in May.
Vince could now choose a Green peerage, and he deserves it – if only because his vegan football team, Forest Green of course, is currently top of the League Table
Vince started his business life battling for planning permission to erect a wind turbine in a field he lived in with the local milkman. Once he had built the turbine he figured he might as well apply for a bigger one, and parlayed his fortune from there. In 2020 the turnover of Ecotricity was £222m.
Critics question the way he picked a fight with the other leading green energy company in the UK – Good Energy. But he stayed in control of his company, whereas Julia Davenport exited Good Energy last year. And he has remained true to his roots, calling out the big energy companies for their lack of green policies.
Vince might decide the Lords is a den of political cronyism and opt to stand for election. Campaigning alongside Molly Scott Cato, he could probably secure her victory in his home town of Stroud. The current Green party candidate, Scott Cato came second in the December 2019 election with 32%, and the Labour winner on 44%.
Scott Cato is the Green party press officer. She would not wish to stand aside, but clearly Vince is better at publicity than she is. Not that he would settle for so lowly a role. As the party’s energy expert he would command widespread respect and attention. And with him as chief fund-raiser, the Green party election coffers would never be fuller.