Dale Vince

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Dale Vince
OBE
Dale Vince.png
Born (1961-08-29) 29 August 1961 (age 60)[1]
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
NationalityBritish
OccupationBusinessman
Years active1995–present
Known forOwner of Ecotricity, chairman/owner of Forest Green Rovers
Spouse(s)Kate Vince[2]
Children3[3]
Websitezerocarbonista.com

Dale Vince OBE (born 29 August 1961) is a British "green energy" industrialist.[4] A former New Age traveller,[5] he is the owner of the electricity company Ecotricity.[6]

Early life and career[edit]

Vince was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Leaving school at 15, he spent time as a New Age traveller.[7][8]

In 1991, he saw his first windfarm ("I thought, either I can carry on by myself with the windmill on my van, or I can get into the big stuff"[9]) and in 1995 he founded the Renewable Energy Company.[7] In 1996, he launched his first wind turbine supplying "green electricity".[10]

In October 2020 The Guardian reported that he plans to create artificial diamonds by chemical vapor deposition using "carbon dioxide captured directly from the atmosphere to form the diamonds – which are chemically identical to diamonds mined from the earth – using wind and solar electricity, with water collected from rainfall."[11]

In April 2022, Dale announced he planned to sell Ecotricity and go into politics. He said part of the reason was that a new owner "can achieve even more, faster. We’ve got a massive pipeline of projects that need to be built requiring £2 billion of investment." As well as developing his interest in politics, he would focus on renewable projects such as tidal lagoons and geothermal energy.[12][13]

Football[edit]

In 2010 Vince became a major shareholder of Forest Green Rovers FC,[14] and three months later was appointed club chairman.[15] In February 2011, Rovers players were banned from eating red meat for health reasons, and a few weeks later the sale of all meat products was banned at the club's ground, leaving only vegetarian options and free-range poultry and fish from sustainable stocks.[16][17]

Vince has also introduced a number of different eco-friendly developments at the club including the installation of solar panels[18] on its New Lawn home ground, the use of a solar-powered robot grass mower,[19] and the creation of the world's first organic football pitch.[20] In September 2015, Vince revealed Forest Green were using a player recruitment method similar to the 'Moneyball' model that had been initially used in baseball to sign players by using computer-generated analysis.[21] In October 2015, Forest Green became the world's first all vegan football club.[22][23]

In 2021, the team became the first in the world to play in a football kit made from a composite material consisting of recycled plastic and coffee grounds.[24]

The United Nations has recognised Forest Green Rovers as the world's first carbon-neutral football club and it was described by FIFA as the “greenest team in the world”.[24][25]

Honours[edit]

Vince was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 New Year Honours for "services to the Environment and to the Electricity Industry".[26]

In 2013, he was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Gloucestershire.[27]

Personal life[edit]

He is a vegan.[1]

While studying, Vince met and married Kathleen Wyatt in 1981. The couple subsequently became New Age travellers together, and had a son in 1983. They separated some years later, and Wyatt subsequently raised the couple's son alone. They divorced in 1992.[28]

Divorce and financial claim court case[edit]

After Vince had made his fortune, Wyatt, who had lived what was later described in court as "16 years of real hardship", lodged a financial claim of £1.9 million against Vince in 2011, nearly 20 years after their divorce.

The Court of Appeal rejected the claim, stating it had "no real prospect of success" and was an "abuse of process".[28] However, in March 2015 the Supreme Court set aside this decision, ruling that there was no time limit in law for claims for financial provision, and the claim could progress in the High Court.[29] Lord Wilson said the court must have regard "to the contribution of each party to the welfare of the family, including by looking after the home or caring for the family", but the claim only had a prospect of "comparatively modest success" with a £1.9 million payout "out of the question".[28]

In a statement, Vince branded the court's decision "mad": "I feel that we all have a right to move on, and not be looking over our shoulders. This could signal open season for people who had brief relationships a quarter of a century ago."[30]

Prior to the case settlement, Vince paid the legal costs for both parties, of over £500,000, as divorce law permits costs to be charged to the combined resources of both parties.[29][31]

In 2016, the case was settled when Vince agreed to pay £300,000 to Wyatt. He commented that the case had been "a terrible waste of time and money" and the settlement barely covered Wyatt’s legal fees. He then repeated his opinion that he was "...disappointed that the supreme court decided not to throw out the case, given it was brought over 30 years since the relationship ended" before adding, "There clearly needs to be a statute of limitations for divorce cases – a time limit beyond which a claim cannot be made. Such a thing exists in commercial law for good practical reasons."[32]

Politics[edit]

Vince has made donations to both the Labour Party and the Green Party.[10]

Prior to the 2015 UK general election, he was one of several celebrities who endorsed the parliamentary candidacy of the Green Party's Caroline Lucas.[33]

He endorsed the Labour Party in the 2019 general election.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Flintoff, John-Paul (27 May 2011). "Power to the people: Dale Vince, green energy pioneer". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  2. ^ Mark Anstead (8 January 2009). "Dale Vince: UFOs, alternative energy and money". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Eco millionaire fights ex-wife's claim for maintenance 20 years after divorce". Telegraph.co.uk. 22 April 2013. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  4. ^ "The TH Interview: Dale Vince of Ecotricity". TreeHugger. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Dale Vince: "The police should be better than us" – Leadership :: Real Business — The Champion of UK Enterprise". Real Business. 19 June 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  6. ^ "About this blog". Zerocarbonista. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b Andrew Davidson (3 August 2009). 1000 CEOs. Dorling Kindersley Limited. pp. 383–. ISBN 978-1-4053-3467-9.
  8. ^ "How an 'off-grid' hippie built a wind energy empire". MNN – Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Dale Vince: Tilting at windmills: how to turn the UK green". The Independent. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b Rankin, Jennifer (10 February 2015). "Ecotricity gives £250,000 to Labour amid 'existential threat' from Tories". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  11. ^ Ambrose, Jillian (30 October 2020). "Ecotricity founder to grow diamonds 'made entirely from the sky'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  12. ^ Walsh, Dominic; Humphries, Will (1 April 2022). "Ecotricity founder Dale Vince to sell company and go into politics". The Times. London. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  13. ^ Hughes, Janet (1 April 2022). "Dale Vince and that Ecotricity shock that wasn't an April Fool". GloucestershireLive. Reach. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  14. ^ "ENERGY firm Ecotricity will today confirm they are joining forces with Forest Green Rovers". Thisisgloucestershire.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Dale Vince becomes Forest Green chairman". BBC Sport. 9 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Burger ban begins at Forest Green Rovers football club". BBC News. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  17. ^ "Veggie Burgers on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday". YouTube. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.[dead YouTube link]
  18. ^ "Forest Green Rovers football club installs solar panels". BBC News. 4 December 2011.
  19. ^ "Robot lawn mower used by Forest Green Rovers football club". BBC News. 21 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Forest Green Rovers spread manure on football pitch". BBC News. 15 June 2011.
  21. ^ "Dale Vince: Forest Green Rovers using 'Moneyball' model". BBC Sport. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Football club goes vegan in world first". BBC News. 31 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Forest Green top of the league after becoming 'world's first' football club to go entirely vegan". Mirror Online. 7 November 2015.
  24. ^ a b Moore, Rowan (28 March 2021). "Soy of the Rovers: the vegan football club kickstarting a green revolution". The Observer. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Forest Green Rovers named 'greenest football club in world'". BBC News Online. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  26. ^ "No. 57155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2003. p. 13.
  27. ^ "University Announces Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships". University of Gloucestershire. 9 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  28. ^ a b c John Bingham (12 March 2015). "Delayed divorce battle: Ecotricity founder Dale Vince's New Age traveller ex-wife wins cash fight". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  29. ^ a b Owen Bowcott (12 March 2015). "Woman wins right to seek money from ex-husband 30 years after breakup". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  30. ^ "BBC News – Woman could win cash payout 20 years after divorce". BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  31. ^ "Dale Vince divorce ruling 'like cashing in old lottery ticket'". BBC. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  32. ^ Press Association (10 June 2016). "Ecotricity founder calls for time limit on divorce payout claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  33. ^ Elgot, Jessica (24 April 2015). "Celebrities sign statement of support for Caroline Lucas – but not the Greens". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  34. ^ Labour: By The Many [@LabourByTheMany] (6 December 2019). "The South West is rich in solar, wind, marine & geothermal energy. It also has the poorest regions in the UK! Here's @DaleVince owner of @ecotricity on why @UKLabour has his vote to tackle the climate crisis #GreenIndustrialRevolution #ByTheMany" (Tweet) – via Twitter.