EcoMall

G.E. BURSTS INTO
THE SOLAR PANEL FIELD
EQUIPPED TO SUCCEED

General Electric is planning the largest solar panel factory in the United States, looking to get into the growing "green" industry in a big way, and on an accelerated timeline.

According to Victor Abate, vice president for G.E.’s renewable energy business, the news follows G.E.'s ongoing investments in solar panels, and takes their efforts to a much larger scale than ever before.

G.E. is leveraging their presence in Colorado, setting up the factory there, and bringing direct and indirect employment to about 1,000 people. The new factory will provide employment for 400 workers and create 600 jobs in related business nearby.

Having acquired Arvada-based PrimeStar Solar Inc., G.E. is off to a running start with a factory that is already tooled for highly economical thin film solar panels. The panels are certified by the National Renewable Energy Lab as the most efficient of their kind. The factory will manufacture thin film photovoltaic panels, made of cadmium telluride, by 2013.

Cadmium telluride panels are less efficient than ordinary ones, but can be produced at a lower cost. G.E. will manufacture the most efficient cadmium telluride panels currently possible, and because of the relatively low expense, expects to produce a high volume annually. There is a healthy market for cadmium telluride panels among utility providers and other large scale operators.

With this announcement, G.E. is signaling again that it is serious about increasing its energy business. G.E. already holds large stakes in nuclear power and natural gas. Recent expansion in these energy sources has been largely through acquisitions.

According to Abate, G.E. will be a cost leader and a technology leader. "We’re excited about our position in a 75 gigawatt solar market over the next five years," he added.

G.E. is not alone in pursing the solar panel business, which is very competitive. One major player is Arizona-based First Solar, the market leader in thin film panel manufacturing. Abound Solar, another competitor, is rapidly adding manufacturing capacity for its cadmium telluride panels. The company recently took out a $400 million federal loan guarantee to fund their expansion.

G.E. won't be applying for federal loan guarantees like Abound Solar has. Instead, they plan to explore state and federal manufacturing tax credits to expand as needed.

G.E.'s manufacturing roll-out will be small compared to First Solar’s level of production. G.E.’s Abate said his company’s solar efforts can grow swiftly, as happened with their wind energy business. Abate told the New York Times, "It’s a $6 billion platform and it was a couple of hundred million dollars in ’02," regarding G.E.'s wind division. “G.E. is very good at scale. In ’05, we were building 10 turbines a week. By ’08, we were doing 13 a day.”

G.E. faces competition from low-cost, government-subsidized Chinese manufacturers. Without similar cash subsidies available to them in the U.S., G.E. will deal with low cost international competitors as it does already in the wind business.

Click below to e-mail this article to a friend
or to post a link on your favorite sites.
Thank you! Bookmark and Share

Written by: Kriss Bergethon. Kriss Bergethon is a writer and solar expert from Colorado, visit his site at Solar Sphere Solar Panels.


RELATED LINKS:



Shop by Keywords Above or by Categories Below.

AIR PURIFICATION AROMATHERAPY BABIES
BEDDING BIRDING BODY CARE
BOOKS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS
CAMPING CATALOGUES CLASSIFIEDS
CLEANING PRODUCTS CLOTHING COMPUTER PRODUCTS
CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS CRAFTS
ECO KIDS ECO TRAVEL EDUCATION
ENERGY CONSERVATION ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES ENGINEERING
FITNESS-YOGA FLOWERS FOODS
FOOTWEAR FURNITURE GARDEN
GIFTS HARDWARE HEMP
HERBS HOUSEHOLD INDUSTRY
INVESTMENTS JEWELRY LIGHTING
MAGAZINES MUSIC NATURAL HEALTH
NATURAL PEST CONTROL NEW AGE OFFICE
OUTDOORS PAPER PETS
PROMOTIONAL RESOURCES RECYCLED SAFE ENVIRONMENTS
SEEKING CAPITAL SHELTERS SOLAR-WIND
TOYS TRANSPORTATION VIDEOS
VITAMINS WATER WEATHER
WHOLESALE WOOD HOW TO ADVERTISE

 Green Living Magazine
Updated Daily!

* * * IN-HOUSE RESOURCES * * *
WHAT'S NEW ACTIVISM ALERTS DAILY ECO NEWS
LOCAL RESOURCES DATABASE ASK THE EXPERTS ECO CHAT
ECO FORUMS ARTICLES ECO QUOTES
INTERVIEWS & SPEECHES NON-PROFIT GROUPS ECO LINKS
KIDS LINKS RENEWABLE ENERGY GOVERNMENT/EDUCATION
VEGGIE RESTAURANTS ECO AUDIO/VIDEO EVENTS
COMMUNICATIONS WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ACCOLADES
AWARDS E-MAIL MAILING LIST


EcoMall