GE eyes $1.5 billion in cleantech research by 2010
General Electric Co aims to boost its investment in clean-tech research and development to $1.5 billion a year by 2010, the largest U.S. conglomerate said on Wednesday in its annual “Ecomagination” report.
The maker of products ranging from electricity-producing wind turbines to energy-efficient compact-fluorescent lights, wants to grow green-business revenues to what it called a “stretch” target of $25 billion next year, up from $17 billion in 2008 and $6 billion in 2004….
GE said it expects stimulus spending in the United States, China and elsewhere around the globe to create about $400 billion of new demand for green technologies and clean-energy products, including wind turbines and solar panels.
The company earlier this month said it was building a plant near Albany, New York to build a new generation of high-capacity batteries that would power its upcoming hybrid railroad locomotive. Last month, it said it was working with Florida utility company FPL Group on the roll out of a “smart grid” system intended to encourage homeowners to lower their electricity consumption during peak demand times.
Global CEOs back greenhouse gas cuts, carbon caps
Global business leaders added momentum to prospects for a new U.N. climate treaty by agreeing Tuesday that the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by mid-century by setting specific limits on carbon.
Government officials reported little progress in setting such limits, however, showing how distant a new treaty remains.
Some 500 CEOs and other top business experts said at the conclusion of the three-day World Business Summit on Climate Change in Denmark that “immediate and substantial” emissions cuts were needed by 2020, followed by cuts of at least 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. They said governments should use the marketplace to set a global price on carbon instead of taxing it, according to a statement from conference organizers.
Carbon allowances — the glue in House energy package
A massive climate bill has taken its first step forward in the House, its path paved by the giveaway of allowances — free greenhouse gas emission permits designed to mute the economic impact of a carbon cap-and-trade program.
Free allowances — each conveying the right to pump a ton of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — were the glue that held the sprawling bill together for Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and fellow Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee last week.
The “cap” of cap and trade would impose steadily tightening limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Companies covered by the bill whose emissions exceeded their caps would have to purchase emission allowances, or buy offsets — for example, by investing in rainforest preservation. Some allowances could be banked or borrowed to ease transitions. But the decisions would affect firms’ choices of fuels, introduction of new technologies, and decisions to hire, fire, expand, shrink or move operations overseas.