Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Immelt - before the glaciers do

"General Electric... have committed to doubling annual investment in clean energy technology research and development to €1.25bn.

Instead of a top-down approach that could potentially stifle creativity and innovation, we are investing most of our new funding at the research level, making sure that these new funds go directly into those innovation engines that offer the most promise. We also plan to double energy-efficient product revenues over the next five years and will lead by example by making big cuts in our our own greenhouse gas emissions. If GE were to continue to grow as we project, by 2012 our emissions would have gone up more than 40 per cent. Instead, we are committing to reduce them by 1 per cent.

Climate change will top the agenda at the Group of Eight summit next week and we support the European Commission’s proposed directive to improve energy efficiency and manage energy demand. We also applaud the UK government’s recent decision to invest £40m ($73m) in cleaner electricity generation from coal and gas as well as for hydrogen and fuel cells.

However, these commitments and the prospect of exciting new technologies mean little if elected leaders on both sides of the Atlantic – along with industry and other stakeholders – cannot work together to develop coherent processes and consistent policies.

In the US, the lack of a coherent energy policy has slowed the exploitation of new innovations. While great progress has been made, we have failed to realise fully the opportunities that exist in wind, solar, clean coal, nuclear power and other renewable resources. The result is that the US has watched Europe and others advance, strengthening their economies and security".

From A consistent policy on cleaner energy by Geoffrey Immelt in the Financial Times, 29 June (sub only).

A prelude to do Ron Ron tonight.

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