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Eco – Warriors
Green Eye, Issue 1552
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Dale Vince of Ecotricity (left) and Juliet Davenport of Good Energy (right) are again at loggerheads
PROMINENT "green energy” companies Ecotricity and Good Energy return to the limelight with a Punch and Judy bust-up for the summer season, as eccentric vegan Dale Vince's firm again attempts to force its attentions on Juliet Davenport's business. The two have form, and their upcoming green-on-green battle looks set to be entertaining.

Altruistic ex-hippies they may be, but there is no love lost between Dale's Ecotricity and Davenport's Good Energy (GE) when it comes to claim and counter-claim over whose company is greener. Davenport in particular runs a long-standing campaign against rival firms, including Ecotricity, for what she considers to be misleading green claims and "greenwashing” – though she hasn't enjoyed the Eye's highlighting of GE's own dubious claims as regards where its "green gas” comes from (Eye 1462, 1465 and 1500).

Farcical Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon scheme
An even bigger vulnerability for GE's reputation has been the amazing series of coincidences in which the company has given significant financial and other material support to Davenport's husband Mark Shorrock and his farcical Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon scheme (Eyes passim ad nauseam).

GE has resolutely maintained that Mrs Shorrock played no part in any of these episodes, which it says were simply business decisions, albeit losing GE a great deal of money. But several prominent GE shareholders have not been impressed by the protestations. These include Vince, who has publicly levelled biting accusations against GE's involvement with Shorrock and, via a 25 percent stake in GE acquired by Ecotricity, attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a seat on the GE board.

Now he's back with a takeover bid for GE, a publicly listed company. He's made an offer which places a clear premium on the share price.

A clean fight seems unlikely
Under stock exchange rules the bid will need to be made binding in August or be withdrawn. GE has immediately rejected it and both parties will be vying for shareholders' support. Hopefully there will be no bio-waste-slinging, but on past performance a clean fight seems unlikely.

Should Vince prevail, Davenport can at least reckon on her green expertise being in demand elsewhere. She might even follow the example of hubby Mark, who, his lagoon scheme having finally been rebuffed by almost every UK public authority involved, now pursues his extravagant green sales pitches in, er, Vietnam. There, he still claims the lagoon is an ongoing project, and online videos of him meditating by the banks of the Mekong apparently go down well.

‘Old Sparky'

More top stories in the latest issue:

MAISON BLANK 
Rishi Sunak's £500m Future Fund was meant to help UK firms to get through the pandemic – but not all the money has gone on this levelling-up agenda.   

DIGITAL EXAMINATION 
Confusion reigns over government plans to farm data from GPs, with adequate protection of patients' data looking far from certain so far.   

WATER BOOBIES 
Southern Water claims the issues that led to it being fined £90m for dumping raw sewage into rivers and the sea are "historic” – but are they?   

DUD CHECKS 
Insiders have told the Eye that the Health and Safety Executive's spot checks on workplaces' Covid-19 safety focus on numbers of checks over actual quality.   

BAT SIGNAL 
The Church of England has rejected a key anti-racism proposal, but it has found the readies to pay a new "bats in churches communications officer”.    

PENALTY SAVE 
Will Gareth Southgate's popularity force the apparent standard that knighthoods don't go to dabblers in tax avoidance schemes to be reconsidered?   

ARTS NEWS 
A park flowerbed in Southend-on-Sea has become an unlikely venue for the latest battle in the UK's culture war.   

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Next issue on sale: 4th August 2021
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Private Eye Issue 1552
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Private Eye Issue 1551
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