GE backs Aussie wind projects

GE global vice-chairman John Rice says the conglomerate is hoping to support new wind energy developments in Australia over the coming years.

The Australian reports Rice said GE was hoping to connect capital with energy projects in order to spur new wind developments.

“We are having discussions with third-party financial institutions about partnering in ways that will help get wind projects developed and other important energy projects,” he said.

Exact details on the projects GE is considering remain unknown, but the company said it was committed to including wind in the long term energy mix for Australia.

Rice said technology in the sector was improving and it was a “big mistake” to claim wind was too expensive or difficult.

“If you look at wind, some people say it is still too expensive,” he said.

“But if I look at where it has come from in the past 15 years, from 25c or more per kilowatt down to less than 10c, I look at the technology that is coming out now … I see a segment of the industry that is still on the move, still capable of becoming more productive and much more cost-effective.”

Yesterday Deutsche Bank analysts said solar energy was nearing 'grid parity,' meaning the cost of solar electricity was comparable to that from other sources.

The Deutsche team said solar demand around the world was expected to rise over the next few years, and manufacturers in the sector would soon see healthy profit margins.