A new alliance aimed at improving consumers' knowledge of, access to and use of renewables and energy efficiency is being launched by the Midwest Research Institute (MRI), which manages the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). "New ERA," or New Energy Resource Alliance, will do this by aiding entrepreneurial enterprises that are working to expand the use of clean energy technologies and efficiency in the use of electricity. Ultimately it aims to accelerate the adoption of new energies in meeting world needs. Charles Gay, director of NREL and former president of ARCO Solar Inc and Siemens Solar Industries, has been chosen to head New ERA. "Traditional energy industries -- such as electric utilities in the US -- are approaching a period of unprecedented transformation to provide market competition and consumer choice. At the same time, new global industries are emerging to provide electricity to the two billion people in the world who don't currently have access to adequate energy services," says Gay. "I share MRI's commitment to expanding the role of renewable energy technologies in the international market place."