Long-serving Conservative MP Tim Yeo is to be the first ever President of the Renewable Energy Association, it was announced today.
Mr Yeo has held Government posts in trade and industry, transport, the environment and agriculture, and is currently Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
He has vigorously defended the UK's renewable industry and recently clashed with climate sceptic Lord Lawson over the need to go green.
When accused by Lord Lawson, who heads the critical Global Warming Policy Foundation, of promoting a “fashionable obsession”, Mr Yeo said: “If going green is a fashion, then I would much rather be a trend-setter than behind the times.”
Following new of his appointment today, Mr Yeo said in a statement: “I am delighted to be invited to be the first ever President of the Renewable Energy Association. Britain will only be able to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals with a substantial contribution from low-carbon renewable energy.
“Renewables can also help to improve both the independence and the security of Britain’s energy supplies. The work of the Renewable Energy Association is very important in this respect and I much look forward to working closely with the Association.”
Martin Wright, meanwhile, takes over from Andrew MacLellan as Chair of the Board of Directors. Martin’s career began with the Royal Navy and has subsequently spanned a number of roles in finance before founding Marine Current Turbines Ltd. He is currently involved in both marine renewables and energy storage.
Martin commented: “I am delighted to take on this role. Renewables undoubtedly form a vital part of the strategic future of energy in the UK, and remain the only means of power generation that can reduce dependence on imports and the inevitable price volatility that such dependence entails.
“Harnessing the UK’s own sources of clean, cheap and everlasting renewable energy is good for jobs, the balance of payments and maintaining our energy security. However, we have our work cut out, in the current economic climate, to mobilise the necessary investment, and to get the positive message out to the media.”
Gaynor Hartnell, the REA’s Chief Executive, said: “Tim will provide the board with invaluable advice on championing renewables in these challenging times, and Martin’s interests on innovation, cost reduction and making renewables more relevant to the business community will help set our agenda.
“Martin and I, along with other directors of the board, are very much looking forward to working with Tim and we look forward him presiding over future functions, including our Gala Awards dinner in June.”
The REA is currently working hard to ensure the best possible outcomes for UK industry and consumers in the changes to Feed-in Tariffs, the Renewable Heat Incentive, the RO Banding Review, and Electricity Market Reforms.