Britain’s Energy and Industry Minister Brian Wilson is launching Renewables UK, a government unit, which aims to help manufacturers benefit from the emerging global market in Renewable Energy (RE), estimated at £500 billion (US$700 billion.)LONDON, England 2002-03-06 [SolarAccess.com] As its first task, the unit will publish guidance on RE funding in April pointing to gaps in the renewable supply chain. Wilson is expected to urge UK companies to challenge European competitors in the industry and take advantage of RE growth. “Renewables UK is about maximizing the benefits of the Renewable Energy industries to the UK in terms of manufacturing, exporting and jobs. We have a huge opportunity,” Wilson said. “There is a huge amount going on, backed by this government, to encourage the increased use of Renewable Energy. This increased activity will create massive opportunities for investment and employment.” Wilson said the only question about the growth of the RE industry is whether the growth will take place in the UK or elsewhere. “Are we going to be importers of renewables equipment and technology?” Wilson asked. “Or are we going to make it here and sell it to the world?” Wilson encouraged his country to commit the same effort and strategic approach to RE that was made to the oil and gas industry 30 years ago, which will “reap very substantial benefits for this country.” World Energy Council projections indicate that cumulative investment in renewables will be worth between £500 billion and £1,500 billion by 2020.