Just Stop Oil Donor Received £110 Million in Green Subsidies from Taxpayer


by CHRIS MORRISON at wattsupwiththat.com

Alternative energy companies run by Just Stop Oil and Labour Party paymaster Dale Vince have collected taxpayer subsidies of around £110 million over the last 20 years. Vince’s company Ecotricity claims it is a “not for dividend” company with its money – “all of it” – going into our mission “to green-up Britain”. But every labourer is worthy of his hire. In Vince’s case, over £43 million (pre-tax) from the company in the form of salary, share buybacks, loans and receipts from the sale of a subsidiary. Some of these payments, it seems, are more tax efficient than paying dividends.

These financial details, and a comprehensive debunking of many of the wild environmental claims Vince has been airing in public media of late, are contained in a recent substack article written by the investigative Net Zero writer David Turver. Over the last 10 years, Vince has given the Labour Party about £1.5 million. Recently the Labour Party said it would ban all new oil and gas drilling, causing widespread concern among its dwindling working class supporters. Vince has also given many hundreds of thousands of pounds to the disruptive Just Stop Oil protesters, whose loutish tactics have led to costly delays on British roads and irritation at major sporting events. Recently, Vince justified his financial largesse by telling the Guardian that “I do want to influence policy doing the things that I do”.

Turver takes a different view on Just Stop Oil, noting that it is “trying to bully us into accepting their worldview without having to bother with minor inconveniences like the ballot box”.

Certainly Vince has a political interest in keeping the renewable subsidy gravy train rolling. Despite constant claims that green energy is getting cheaper by the day, British electricity buyers are forced to pay £12 billion in subsidy every year for renewable energy that provides barely 5% of total U.K. energy consumption. In Vince’s case, Turver asks if it could be possible that he is dependent upon a never-ending stream of subsidies from hard-pressed bill payers to keep his empire afloat? 

There are a number of ways wind and solar suppliers can collect subsidies for producing energy. Investigative journalist Ben Pile has calculated that Ecotricity has collected £89 million from the Renewables Obligations Certificate scheme since 2002, with £53 million of that since 2014-15. In addition, Turver found another £9 million of subsidies within subsidiary companies. Ecotricity has also declared over £16 million in “other income” for administering feed-in tariff schemes, another form of subsidy for electricity production. 

Dale Vince has been every busy of late pushing his green dream and the prospects of Ecotricity on a number of radio and TV channels. Turver suggests a possible economic explanation for all this activity. Despite all the subsidies and the high prices it charges its customers, money seems a little tight. A new holding company has benefited from a loan from Vince, but at the end of April 2022 it had £70.8 million in cash. However, £29 million of this was restricted by banking covenants. Set against this, notes Turver, there is over £182m of debt due within one year, including money repaid to Vince. There is also £44.2 million of eco-bonds outstanding. With interest rates currently rising, Vince would have been “trying to burnish his green credentials to persuade investors to keep his bonds”.

The company has been stress testing various scenarios, and details are given below.

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