By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
General Electric said it is "doubling down" its efforts to accomplish its goal of transforming every home into net-zero energy by 2015.
Speaking at the 9th annual Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference in New York, GE vice president of Ecomagination Steve Fludder said the company sees tremendous growth in the green space, and aims to capitalize on that trend by investing in it.
"Green products that come at a cost was not a wise business strategy," Fludder said. "Green is [now] green."
Fludder highlighted the company's "Eco 1.0" initiative, noting that it made $5 billion in cleantech products, such as 1.5 mW of wind power (12,000 units), 400 GE90-115B turbine engines and 3,000 Evolution locomotives.
GE is both conducting core research and development as well as partnering with firms through its venture capital arm, Fludder said. To date, $200 million has been invested in 20 companies for "deep partnerships" for smart grid, renewable energy, clean water, building efficiency and carbon management technologies.
This year, the company will kick off version 2.0 of its Eco program and "double" its efforts in the space.
Those goals include, among others:
- Double R&D investment to $10 billion
- Grow Eco-derived revenues at twice the rate of the rest of the company
- Improve energy efficiency by 50 percent
To accomplish this, GE plans to transform the power infrastructure such as the smart grid, improve energy efficiency in trains, planes and homes (the company invested $100 million in batteries), and maximize existing resources, whether oil, gas, biofuels or water.
This is all possible within a decade using existing technology, Fludder said.
"This can be done," Fludder said. "This is not a dream that requires miracle innovations."
Mar 16, 2010
It means nothing that GE will create the technology to make homes net-zero energy users if you don't consider cost. Looking at the fine print in the illustration, there are things such as PV arrays, wind turbines, some kind of energy storage device, etc. All these will cost tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of dollars. If I install all these devices to make my home a net-zero energy user, how many years or decades of savings will it take to make it a net-zero cost?
Homes will produce a surplus of power at times, other times they will draw power from the grid. Net-zero energy use will be when the two quantities cancel out. No doubt the power companies will pay less for the power you produce than they will charge for the power you draw, so net-zero use won't mean zero bill. As for the "within a decade using existing technology" comment - maybe he means that since technology is improving, it won't take that long
I'm confused... the article clearly says, "This is all possible within a decade using existing technology, Fludder said." But the title of the article says 2015. Either this story is already five years old, or someone doesn't know how long a decade is.
I can't make any sense of the comments below, they all appear to say the same thing! It is good that not everybody is billing us (USGov) for their research, in hte end we all pay for it anyway, as companies pass along their costs to the customers anyway. Are you trying to say they are setting us up to not need the power grid? We have a smart meter in the diagram, if we have net-zero then why is it connected to the power grid at all?