GE Expands Renewable Energy Financing Arm
To accelerate the growth of its global renewable energy holdings from a nearly $1 billion base, GE Energy Financial Services announced today that it has significantly expanded its team of experienced finance and technical professionals serving this market. The team, aligned with GE's ecomagination initiative to expand its cleaner energy products while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, provides structured project finance from debt to equity as well as construction and lease financing, and also considers late-stage project development and technology investments.
With more than 20 dedicated professionals, the renewable energy team draws upon Energy Financial Services' expertise and decades of experience as an investor in the sector worldwide. Estimates of annual global renewable energy investment requirements range from $20 billion-$30 billion, excluding large hydroelectric plants. Energy Financial Services is seeking to grow its renewable energy investments to more than $3 billion by 2008.
"We're expanding our renewable energy team to take advantage of a perfect nexus of positive developments in relative costs, technology, regulations and public opinion," said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of GE Energy Financial Services' renewable energy team. "This nexus propelled our renewable energy portfolio growth during 2005 by 40 percent, to nearly $1 billion."
Energy Financial Services' growth strategy is to provide structured capital to high-quality renewable energy projects in wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass, bio-fuels, and carbon offset projects. It draws on its originating, marketing, technical, structuring, environmental, insurance, underwriting and tax expertise – as well as expertise from its sister financing, research, manufacturing, and services businesses, to maximize value for project developers. Investments in 2005 included solar roofs for 14 public schools in San Diego, and the nearby 50-megawatt Kumeyaay Wind farm, the largest wind power farm on Indian land. In addition, it acquired seven wind farms in Germany with a combined capacity of 166 megawatts.