GE: Green and European
Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 @ 21:19:54 GMT
Renewable-energy technologies are experiencing explosive growth worldwide. Wind turbines, for example, are propagating at a greater rate than any other electricity-generating technology: global capacity surged 25 percent just last year. And Europe, with its high fossil fuel costs and generous government subsidies of "green power," is the epicenter of this growth, accounting for two-thirds of wind power facilities installed in 2003.
None of this has escaped the attention of General Electric: the industrial giant's new $52 million research center in Munich will largely be devoted to renewable-energy technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells, wind turbines, biomass fuels, and polymer photovoltaics. The lab will also develop the electronics needed to tame variable electricity sources like wind and solar for use on the electricity grid.