ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit 2010

GE’s Immelt Says U.S. Needs Strong Actions on Energy

By By Jim Efstanthiou Jr., March 2, 2010 05:19 PM US Eastern Timezone

U.S. government must take “strong actions” to stay competitive with countries such as China and Japan in a race to build wind turbines and nuclear reactors.

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government must take “strong actions” to stay competitive with countries such as China and Japan in a race to build wind turbines and nuclear reactors, General Electric Co. chief Jeffrey Immelt said.

“Right now we have no certainty around an energy future,” Immelt, GE’s chief executive officer, said today in a speech to the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Conference in Washington’s Maryland suburbs. “Let’s not take this growth industry and give it to every other country in the world but the U.S.”

Asia makes more than half the world’s wind and solar energy equipment, and is gaining ground as U.S. factories lose out to cheaper labor and higher demand for clean energy. China for the first time topped the U.S. in wind-turbine manufacturing and installations last year, the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council said yesterday in a report.

Immelt has helped lead the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, or USCAP, a coalition of businesses and environmental groups calling for Congress to put a cap on carbon-dioxide emissions. The group says legislation is needed so companies such as utilities and their suppliers know how to proceed with long-term investments. A measure passed by the House last year has stalled in the Senate.

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