United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Government unit set up to maximise benefits to UK industry from renewables

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A government unit has been set up to maximise the share of worldwide markets for renewable energy that British manufacturers can gain. Renewables UK is to be based in Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland. The new organisation is about maximising the benefits of the renewable energy industries to the UK in terms of manufacturing, exporting and jobs, says energy minister Brian Wilson. Increased activity in renewables in Britain will create massive opportunities, he claims. "The question is whether it will take place in this country or somewhere else." The unit will initially have six staff whose key activities will be promoting the UK as a manufacturing base, identifying and promoting export opportunities, ensuring the use of new technology and providing market information. Some industry insiders have complained that the unit's location is too remote for most of Britain. But Wilson argues that it will be able to transfer tools, techniques and experience from support for the oil and gas sector, which is based in Aberdeen. "There are strong parallels with the position of the UK's oil and gas industry some thirty years ago," he says. "If the same concerted, strategic approach is applied to the renewables sector as was applied to oil and gas, we can reap very substantial benefits for this country."

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