Our world is at a profound energy crossroads. After 200 years of economic growth powered by fossil fuels, man-made climate change is now one of the greatest threats to the earth’s ecosystem. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the main culprit, and their largest source—at 42%—is the power sector, creating the demand for energy system decarbonization.
To change course, the world must act quickly to decarbonize every aspect of modern life, from transportation to power. This requires a massive, global effort that necessitates cooperation and coordination from every major institution, including governments and companies, to help face into the challenge.
Low Carbon Energy Solutions
GE Power knows that the power sector can provide an example for the rest of the world. We believe that low-carbon technologies, such as renewable energy and digitalization, can contribute to the decarbonization of energy at scale. However, even though these options are decarbonizing the grid, they are not enough by themselves to keep the world below the 2°C limit of average global temperature increase specified by international climate scientists and codified in the global Paris Agreement.
The world must also switch from high-carbon fuels like coal and oil to low carbon-non renewable energy options like natural gas. Indeed, natural gas has the lowest carbon content of the primary fossil fuels used in power generation, and highly efficient gas turbines provide the flexibility required to successfully operate global power networks that are increasingly supplemented by variable energy resources such as wind and solar.
Our position on decarbonization takes into account the inherent “trilemma” facing every country when it comes to power: simultaneously balancing affordability, reliability, and sustainability.
of total GHGs
come from the power sector
Depending on the level of economic development in each country, the solution to the trilemma looks different. GE's portfolio offers customized technology that supports decarbonization across a mix of energy sources. Our world-record-holding high efficiency gas turbines, our cross-fleet services and advanced gas path (AGP) upgrades, our modular and scalable energy storage solutions, our grid and inverter solutions for renewable integration, our broader portfolio of non-carbon emitting nuclear, wind and hydro power, and our software all make energy system decarbonization possible and easier.
The growth of renewable power means that the owners of the world’s gas turbines have to accept some Darwinian logic: Adapt or die. The U.K.’s gas-fired plants are reinventing themselves to be flexible, thanks to GE's GT26 HE upgrade.
Ultra Super Critical Thinking
The Ostroleka C power station, currently under construction in Poland, could be the last coal-fired power plant built in the European Union country. But that hardly means the technology inside it has no future. GE sees markets for the ultra-supercritical technology in the Middle East, Asia and Africa as well as Europe.
Installed capacity of gas-fired power plants will climb in the next two decades as the structure of the power industry continues to shift from one based primarily on central generation resources to a hybrid system comprising both centralized and distributed resources, according to a new analysis by GE Power.
The Hydrogen Generation
GE’s gas turbines have a long history of burning hydrogen blended with natural gas, which has a long list of benefits, in a wide range of concentrations. GE has installed more than 70 gas turbines in the U.S., Asia and Europe that are currently or have significant past experience burning fuels that contain hydrogen to generate electricity.
Bad CO2, Good CO2
In October, GE partner Southwest Research Institute broke ground on a two-year-old project to build the world’s first 10-megawatt power plant using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of steam.
Full Steam Ahead
Like many medieval towns in France, Belfort has its share of soaring church domes and spires. But the tallest structures here don’t serve any religion — they are temples of industry.
Lightning In A Bottle
Johanna Wellington is standing next to what looks like a shipping container. Her safety goggles are the only clues that this container isn’t quite what it seems.
Batteries Included: Hybrid Power Plants Let Californians Breathe Easy
As Hollywood’s awards season continues and film studios jockey for their Oscars, one Los Angeles entity has racked up enough trophies to make Warner Brothers green with envy.
GE Turbine Delivers Second World Record
Last month, Chubu Electric Power’s Nishi-Nagoya plant—using the 7HA GE turbine—earned the title of the world’s most efficient power plant. Better yet, it will now supply power to approximately 2.7 million homes in Japan.
The Reservoir: Futuristic Storage
The increase in renewable generation brings the need for reliable, utility-scale energy storage systems. So GE created the Reservoir—a flexible solution designed to meet storage needs.
Power When You Need It
Through a combination of batteries and “peakers,” Selma Kirvan of GE Energy Connections has created a solution to the problem of providing power when the sun in down.
To Efficiency and Beyond
Already praised for world-class efficiency, the GT13E2 is getting upgraded. In June, GE Power and Vattenfall Warme Berlin announced the new MXL2 with Additive Manufactured performance, the first of its kind.
GE Takes 100 years of knowledge to CIGRE
At CIGRE, GE Power’s Grid Solutions demonstrated the culmination of more than a century in technological advances through a variety of immersive reality experiences.
Reimagining our electricity future
Discover how GE is co-creating the future of energy with customers around the world
The world is transitioning from an electricity system based primarily upon large, centralized generation, transmission and distribution (T&D) technologies, to one that also embraces distributed, digitally-enhanced, and low-carbon technologies. Traditional and emerging, physical and digital, large and small, are all converging to create a new twenty-first century power network. GE is leading this transformation and co-creating the future of energy with our customers across the globe.