Ecomagination: Tackling the world’s energy problems together
According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, global energy consumption is set to rise by 40 percent in just 20 years. As the world runs short on natural supplies of energy, energy diversification and efficiency are the buzz words that must be paid attention to.
People need to be educated on how the planet will suffer should we not pay heed to energy issues today. Greenhouse gas emissions, water use and electricity consumption needs to be reduced while the ability to reuse water needs to increase. Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to address these challenges. Through this initiative, GE is focusing its energy, technology, manufacturing and infrastructure capabilities to develop future solutions such as solar energy, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, efficient lighting and water purification technology.
The UN states that an annual investment of $35m until 2030 could result in access to clean energy for most of the world’s population. In 2009, GE invested $1.5 billion on ecomagination R&D and in 2010 GE has committed to invest an additional $10 billion in ecomagination research and development by 2015.
On a more grassroots level, GE has also launched many end-user driven eco-friendly products to help a larger public contribute to solving the issues as well. These include:
– GE’s WattStation™: It’s an easy-to-use electric vehicle (EV) charger designed to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) by significantly decreasing time needed for vehicle charging.
– The GE Energy Smart® LED general purpose bulb: A bulb designed to last for 17 years. Although it consumes only 9 watts, it replaces a standard 40-watt light bulb and lasts more than 25 times longer than a standard incandescent.
– The GE Monogram 30“Refrigerator: Designed to provide the features of 21st century refrigerators while reducing consumer electricity costs.
– GE’s Nucleus™ communication and data storage device: This provides consumers with information about their household electricity consumption and costs. It brings the promise of the smart grid into consumers’ homes, empowering them to make more informed energy choices.
– Energy efficient building solutions: This portfolio of products includes high efficiency lighting and control systems, high efficiency motors and drives, and water reuse technology.
The latest news on the initiative is the Ecomagination Challenge “Powering Your Home” that is open to the public. It is a contest that invites people to design the green home of the future. This competition is the second phase of the challenge, for which $200 million has been allocated for phase two. Entries can be submitted until March 1, 2011.
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