GE cleantech research to reach $1.5 billion by 2010

FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT - 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 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.

When GE unveiled the Ecomagination initiative in 2005, it set an initial revenue target of $10 billion by 2010. By last year it had raised the 2010 benchmark to $25 billion.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company last year spent $1.4 billion on green research, up from $700 million 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 industrial giant also makes traditional turbines that burn natural gas and coal, and equipment used in oil and natural gas production.

GE said in a 36-page report that in 2008 it released 6.49 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change. That is down 13 percent from 2004 levels, even as it grew revenue 48 percent over that period.

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.


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