Together with our customers, GE powers one-third of the world’s energy. We equip 90 percent of utilities worldwide and manage 40 percent of the world’s energy with our software. As we commemorate Earth Day today, we are reminded of the urgent challenge to preserve our planet’s resources, a global priority that GE is working to solve.
We are also working closely with customers, partners and government officials around the world to help them achieve their own climate goals. Today and tomorrow, the Biden administration is hosting a global climate summit. Here is what we had to say about the summit and below is a look at some of the projects we are supporting across 20 countries attending it this week;
“Climate change is a global priority, and the participation of so many world leaders in today’s Summit sends a strong signal that there can be no delay in action. With experience across the wind, gas and grid sectors, GE is partnering with dozens of countries and customers to aggressively reduce emissions today while helping innovate new technologies to further decarbonize the energy sector in the future. As the United States and other countries work to achieve ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, GE looks forward to helping countries and customers around the globe meet their goals through innovation and technology.”
We are focusing on three key areas in order to drive the greatest impact in the energy transition: renewable energy, gas power, and the grid, while investing in breakthrough technologies to increasingly abate emissions in the future.
Renewable energy is one of the fastest growing sources of new power generation and will remain a key player in the energy transition. Be it onshore or offshore wind, GE is working with customers to reduce emissions. For example, the Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine running, is driving efficiency and decreasing the cost of offshore wind energy. It is slated to power the world’s largest offshore windfarm in the U.K. and upcoming wind farms in the US, including the Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts and the Ocean Wind farm in New Jersey. Most recently, GE Renewable Energy revealed it will build what is expected to become the largest hybrid solar energy storage system in New York State.
Gas power is a force multiplier for rapidly reducing emissions and supporting the renewable energy industry. U.S. power sector emissions have decreased by 33% since 2007, due largely to replacing coal plants with natural gas. Earlier this year, we announced a partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities to replace its coal plant with gas 12 years ahead of its initial target. We are also pursuing options to decarbonize gas longer term through carbon capture or hydrogen. Today, our HA turbines can work with up to 50% hydrogen/natural gas mix. We have more than 70 gas turbines worldwide using hydrogen and associated fuels for power generation, with about 6 million operating hours in aggregate. We will continue to partner toward more innovation to address emissions long term.
Grid also plays a large role in the energy transition — not just because we can improve the energy efficiency of the grid itself, but because without a strong grid, we won’t be able to utilize additional energy created from any source. GE was among the innovators of the electrical grid more than 100 years ago and still is today, with technologies to improve the efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of both the physical and digital grid.
As we look towards the future, GE continues to innovate and develop breakthrough technologies. GE Research plays an integral role in supporting the energy transition through its work our government partners. Most recently, engineers at the research center are looking to incorporate superconducting magnets in powerful offshore wind turbine generators that convert strong sea winds into electric power for use onshore. We are also working with partners and customers to develop advanced nuclear technologies like BWRX-300 and NatriumTM* that will be able to provide carbon-free, dependable base load and flexible capacity.
Beyond the energy transition, GE is also focused on innovating solutions for two other pressing global challenges: the sustainability of the future of flight and delivering precision healthcare to global populations. These challenges drive us to Build a World that Works.
This is a pivotal week, with stakeholders across the globe coming together to address and advance the energy transition. Climate change is a massive challenge that no one company can solve. At GE, we are committed to being part of these discussions and bringing about solutions that will benefit future generations.