Juliet Davenport

For a climate campaigner, Juliet had a high carbon early life. The daughter of a professional rally car driver, a childhood by the racetrack was followed by higher education at Oxford University, studying atmospheric physics. It was whilst sheltering in the library the night of the storm Michael Fish famously failed to predict, that she had her eureka moment: she had to dedicate her life to tackling climate change.  

How she might take on this enormous task was not immediately clear. In the intervening years following graduation, Juliet spent time in Brussels working on carbon and energy policy. She became acquainted with the strong arm of the fossil fuel lobby and enamored with the potential of renewable technologies. Then a master’s degree in economics from Birkbeck, University of London, taught her more about applying the scientific and technical knowledge she had gathered to the real world.

In 1999, aged 31, she founded one of the UK’s first 100% renewable electricity suppliers, Good Energy. The first female CEO of a UK energy supplier, at a time when only 2% of the power on the UK’s electricity grid came from renewables and the entire industry could fit into a room above a pub, Juliet was going against the grain. In Good Energy, she aimed to make it possible for everyone to play a part in the solutions to climate change. It was less than straightforward to begin with, but the businesses’ customers believed in the purpose, helping crowdfund an investment round in 2002.

Customers remained at the heart of the innovations Good Energy and Juliet drove through, leading to an explosion in home generated solar power, the acquisition of the UK’s first wind farm and a creation of a previously non-existent market for distributed small-scale clean power.

Juliet continues to lead Good Energy, whilst also advising on an advocating for a cleaner, greener future through her work with industry, innovation and research organisations.