|Born||29 August 1961|
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
|Known for||Owner of Ecotricity, chairman/owner of Forest Green Rovers|
Early life and career
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") and in 1995 he founded the Renewable Energy Company. In 1996, he launched his first wind turbine supplying "green electricity".
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."
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.
In 2010 Vince became a major shareholder of Forest Green Rovers FC, and three months later was appointed club chairman. 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.
Vince has also introduced a number of different eco-friendly developments at the club including the installation of solar panels on its New Lawn home ground, the use of a solar-powered robot grass mower, and the creation of the world's first organic football pitch. 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. In October 2015, Forest Green became the world's first all vegan football club.
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.
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.
Divorce and financial claim court case
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". 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. 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".
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."
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."
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- "Football club goes vegan in world first". BBC News. 31 October 2015.
- "Forest Green top of the league after becoming 'world's first' football club to go entirely vegan". Mirror Online. 7 November 2015.
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- "University Announces Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships". University of Gloucestershire. 9 August 2013. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- 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.
- Owen Bowcott (12 March 2015). "Woman wins right to seek money from ex-husband 30 years after breakup". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "BBC News – Woman could win cash payout 20 years after divorce". BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Dale Vince divorce ruling 'like cashing in old lottery ticket'". BBC. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Press Association (10 June 2016). "Ecotricity founder calls for time limit on divorce payout claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
- Elgot, Jessica (24 April 2015). "Celebrities sign statement of support for Caroline Lucas – but not the Greens". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- 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.