GE & AES Corp. Partner To Reduce Emissions

Goal is 10 million tons of carbon offsets per year.

General Electric Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, announced on Jan. 16 that it joined with AEP Corp. to create a partnership to develop gas emission reduction projects in the U.S.

With a goal of annual production volume of 10 million tons by 2010, the projects will capture and destroy methane emissions. Methane is greenhouse gas with a warming potential 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, according to a company statement. Methane emissions include agricultural waste, landfills, coalmines and wastewater treatment.

The partnership is looking into other ways to develop offsets including electricity generation from renewable sources. The partnership would sell offsets from these projects to commercial and industrial customers seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their operations or to provide climate-friendly products or services to their customers.

"This initiative will help GE Energy Financial Services double its already sizeable $1.5 billion portfolio of investments in renewable energy projects by the end of 2008, and will contribute to GE's ecomagination program," said Alex Urquhart, president and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.

Through its ecomagination program, GE has committed to help its customers meet their environmental challenges while reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions. GE has pledged to more than double its investment in the development of cleaner energy technologies, from $700 million to $1.5 billion by 2010, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 1% by 2012, reduce the intensity of its greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2008, and improve the company's energy efficiency 30% by the end of 2012.

Last April, AES announced formation of its alternative energy group, making a $1 billion commitment to investments in wind, LNG, and climate change sectors. AES has already announced a target to produce up to 40 million tons of greenhouse gas emission offsets per year by 2012, through development projects under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.

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