Plans to merge the UK's two main renewables groups -- the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) have been ditched. Maria McCaffery, the BWEA's chief executive, says the process of merging would have distracted the industry from the key issues of delivering the government's 2010 renewable energy target and driving forward a strong market for wind and marine renewables. "Over the course of the next three to five years, the need for a strong voice for wind energy and other renewables is key to removing some of the barriers to the speedy deployment of projects and it is felt that at this point in time this will be best served by keeping our associations separate." She adds that the merger discussions served to strengthen the BWEA's working relationship with the REA. From the REA, Philip Wolfe says: "We look forward to continued close co-operation on areas of common interest, including the current Energy Review consultations, integration of our marine renewables activities, and the important role of wind power within the broader UK renewable energy mix." He adds: "We still support the principle of integrating our activities at some suitable juncture."