Tuesday, October 22, 2013
We Live In Gas Age: GE's Immelt
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Low-cost natural gas and the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have shifted the world into a new energy age, Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said Tuesday in Tokyo.
- Jeffrey Immelt
Immelt, however, pointed to nuclear energy's reliability when handled correctly and said that his company would continue to work with the technology.
"By 2020 or 2030, nuclear has to be in the mix," he said, explaining his company's decision to stay in the industry.
Immelt noted the effects of lower natural gas costs resulting from shale extraction, which has accelerated in the U.S. over the past few years. The low cost of solar energy has also contributed to nuclear power's loss of favor, he said.
"We have invested in extraction, transmission, power generation and conversion of natural gas," Immelt said. He added that the export of this shale-derived fuel from the U.S. to Japan would help reshape the global economy in the coming years.
In addition to gas, Immelt sees three other factors changing the way the world works: the industrial Internet, or use of data collection and interpretation in machinery; advanced manufacturing, which focuses more on materials and technology than labor competitiveness; and the next phase globalization.
"Globalization is intense localization," he said. "There is no such thing any more as regional hubs. If you want to be successful today, you learn to localize in countries."