New chief for British Wind Energy Association

Paul Boughton

Maria McCaffery has been appointed as Chief Executive of the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association, BWEA. She replaces Marcus Rand, who has moved on to the Carbon Trust where he is Head of PR and Corporate Communications.

With the conclusions of the UK Government’s Energy Review due imminently, McCaffery takes over BWEA at a critical point in the history of the Association.

BWEA’s evidence to the review called on Government to take action in five key areas, including setting a firm target for 20 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs to come from renewables sources by 2020, backed up by new research showing that wind, wave and tidal power alone could meet 21 per cent of the UK’s projected electricity supplies by that time.

However fundamental to achieving this level of clean and secure energy supplies will be resolving issues in delivering offshore wind and the emerging marine renewables. BWEA’s research also shows that ‘business as usual’ progress, driven by the current support mechanism of the Renewables Obligation (RO), will not be sufficient to drive a major roll out of offshore renewables.

Speaking about her new role Miss McCaffery says that she has long been passionate about renewables, following her joint honours in Management and Chemical Sciences from UMIST, where she specialised in alternative and renewable energy systems:

“Any free energy source has an obvious role in creating the low carbon economy of the future and I’m delighted to be helping to secure that role for the UK’s wind and marine renewables industries. It’s both challenging and inspiring to have the opportunity to make a difference – a worthwhile difference.”

McCaffery brings with her 18 years of experience in national membership organisations in her previous roles as Director General of the Institute of Export and prior to that Director of the International Division at British Chambers of Commerce. These have brought her into regular and close contact with various Government departments, from DTI and Defra to Transport and Education. She has also served on a succession of government advisory groups for many years, including an ongoing role at the Board of UK Trade & Investment advising on the development and delivery of business support programmes, and was awarded an MBE for services to British exporters in 1999.

Commenting on her appointment, BWEA Chairman Chris Shears said: Maria's track record in working with industry and government will make her a huge asset to the Association and complement all our efforts to place renewables at the centre of government energy policy."

The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) is the UK’s leading renewable energy associationwith over 300 companies in membership. Formed 28 years agoBWEA is at the forefront of the development of the UK wind and marine renewables industryrepresenting these sectors to Governmentbusinessmedia and the public. BWEA is helping to ensure that the knowledge gained through the development of offshore wind energy is transferred into the emerging marine renewablesensuring as smooth a path as possible for the development of wave and tidal stream energy in the UK.

Wind energy has now started a major expansion in the UK and will be the single greatest contributor to the Government’s 10 per cent 2010 renewable energy target and 20 per cent 2020 renewable aspiration. Togetherwindwave and tidal power can supply 21 per cent of the UK’s projected electricity needs by 2020resulting in over £16 billion of investment in UK plc.

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