GE is a global technology, service and finance company with more than 300,000 employees in more than 100 countries. It concentrates on innovations in the areas of energy, healthcare, transportation and infrastructure.
GE has been active in Germany for over 100 years. GE’s longevity and deep roots in Germany are evident today with the company operating in more than 70 locations with around 7,000 employees. The company focuses mainly on energy, medical technology and financial services. GE invests in renewable energy production, innovative medical technology solutions, and efficient aviation and transportation technologies, and supports the investment ability of industry, SMEs and municipalities with attractive financing offers.
With the establishment in Munich in 2004 of GE Global Research Europe, one of five global research centers, Germany also plays a decisive role in the company’s ongoing process of innovation. GE continues to invest in Germany’s sustainable growth, with the objective of making it a greener and healthier region.
As a global company, GE takes its responsibility to society very seriously. As a global technology, infrastructure and financial services company, GE has the expertise, the economies of scale and the resources needed to take on some of the major problems facing the world.
We’re Shaping Germany
GE isn’t just about technical innovation; it’s also about giving something back to the world and changing it in a positive way. We achieve this through sustainable business, investments in clean technologies, and comprehensive social commitment.
Seizing and Harnessing Opportunities
As a good financial service provider, we have to calculate not only figures, but also opportunities. We recognized the potential of the Georgsmarienhütte Group and made the company ready for the future. In good times and bad, we have supported the Georgsmarienhütte Group and helped it to become one of Europe’s leading high-grade structural steel manufacturers. As part of one of the world’s biggest technology companies, GE Capital understands its customers and can offer them optimized solutions in Leasing, Factoring and Fleet Management.
GE Germany is the first corporate member to support the Business and Professional Women Initiative (BPW), one of the largest professional networks for employed and self-employed women in Germany. As well as providing financial support to the initiative, GE’s primary mandate is to further the equality of men and women within the company.
GE Volunteers in Germany
Social commitment has a long history at GE. In the U.S., our volunteers have been active for a century. We are also encouraging our employees in Germany to help their local communities as honorary GE Volunteers.GE allows each employee two hours a month for this work. There are now Volunteers at 11 German branches of GE —and the success has been tremendous. In Dornstadt, GE Volunteers have re-greened a recreational area. The zone now offers a play area of children and young adults that spans 5,300 square meters. In Hürth, a children’s daycare center has been restored. At Blomberg, near Bad Tölz, GE employees organized a climbing afternoon for 30 children and young adults. And near Salzbergen, the pathway to the new community center was paved.
In 2011, GE Volunteers rolled up their sleeves at 11 locations across Germany, getting a total of 39 social projects off the ground. Five of the branches organized four or more campaigns.
In 2011, 813 GE employees in Germany carried out 1,830 hours of charitable work, much of it devoted to helping children and young people, the elderly, people with disabilities, environmental protection, and community development.
We Make Germany More Sustainable
With GE, companies, energy suppliers and communities can be provided with electricity on a local basis.
Energy Storage of the Future
In Berlin, GE Energy is developing state-of-the-art performance electronics for controllable pumped-storage hydroelectric plants. When there is less demand on the power grid, water is pumped to a higher reservoir. This water is then used to generate energy during periods of higher power demand. Pumped-storage power plants are therefore much more flexible and efficient than conventional power plants and are the best solution for storing renewable energies. In Goldisthal in Thuringia, GE has equipped Germany’s most powerful and most advanced pumped-storage power plant with GE performance electronics.
Strong Tailwind for Wind Turbines
GE Energy is further expanding its wind business in Germany. Together with project developer Energiekontor AG, 37 multi-megawatt turbines are being installed in four wind park projects. Each year, these will produce around 250 million kWh of electricity. This is enough to provide power to more than 70,000 German households. Examples of GE’s innovation include newly patented rotor blades on the wind turbines that generate reduced noise levels. The rotor blades have also increased the turbines’ energy yield by 9% as compared to previous models.
Energy for BMW
More and more companies are generating on-site energy for their production facilities, like BMW at its plant in Landshut. Two natural gas-powered GE Jenbacher combined heat and power plants with a combined efficiency level of 83.6 percent provide the production facilities of the premium automobile manufacturer’s light alloy foundry with electricity and water.
Ecomagination in Germany
GE is investing heavily in green technologies in Germany:
- The European headquarters for Renewable Energies are based in Salzbergen
- Hamburg is the base for our new Wind Technology Center
- In Regensburg, we are developing innovative manufacturing methods for reduced-weight, energy-efficient turbine blades for aviation
- In the town of Stutensee in Baden-Württemberg, GE Inspection Technologies is developing and producing a scanner that will detect potential cracks and defects in oil and gas pipelines before they appear
- Garching, near Munich, is home to GE Global Research Europe, whose research focuses on alternative energies, energy systems and environmental technologies
Ecomagination has been commended by the jury of the German Sustainability Prize.
Building Sustainable Cities
More than half of the world’s population lives in urban centers. By 2050, that figure is expected to rise to 75 percent, presenting us with major challenges on a global scale. The same is particularly true for Germany. A decision has, after all, been made on the country’s energy policy. Over the next few decades, Germany is set to increase the proportion of renewable energies in its gross power consumption to at least 80 percent. Its CO2 emissions are also to be cut concurrently by at least 80 percent compared to 1990.
Such an energy policy is feasible, provided we change our energy system. Inherent in this change is a local energy supply. Public utility companies have recognized this and are acting accordingly. They are investing more and more in renewable energies and also in efficient bridging technologies for local supplies. There are, however, much greater challenges.
The energy itself needs to be provided in a more flexible manner. New storage technology needs to be used. Energy management must be optimized intelligently on a stage-by-stage basis both within and outside the energy generation process. Alongside energy, water will also become a major issue for cities and public utility companies. The key elements of sound water policy are the safeguarding of water quality, water purification, wastewater treatment and water desalination.
GE is a partner to public utility companies and is tackling these challenges head-on. We support public utility firms with technologies, expertise, service and financing solutions.
Intelligent Energy Management in Munich
GE is one of the pioneers of intelligent energy networks, also called smart grids. The challenge is to achieve a balance between energy generation and power consumption—and thereby assure an efficient and reliable power supply. Smart grids also change the way in which energy is produced, transferred and used by public utility companies such as the one in Munich. The distribution and sale of energy, district heating and water take on a new role. With our Smallworld GIS solution—the world’s leading geo-information system—Munich’s public utilities company is able to manage all of its system and grid documentation for the power and district heating networks. Even the networks for gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications have been monitored for many years using Smallworld GIS. This approach is enabling us to offer Munich’s public utilities company considerable assistance with the management of the change in energy policy. After all, such a major change also calls for planning, expansion or modernization of the networks, field crew management, asset management and smart-metering projects.
Saving Energy from Inside
Buildings account for up to 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption. This is why saving energy is one of the key issues in the successful implementation of the change in energy policy in Germany. GE is developing technology that will, in the near future, enable buildings to generate as much energy as they use. Even existing buildings can save energy intelligently, for example with HabiTEQ. HabiTEQ is a wireless energy management system featuring radio sensor technology that draws its current not from batteries, but from natural sources of energy. HabiTEQ integrates the control of lighting, cooling/ventilation, blinds, shutters and many other components in a single management system. Energy consumption is managed flexibly and efficiently.
Pioneering Combined Heat and Power
The Regensburg energy and water supply company REWAG has been using Jenbacher gas engines from GE for two decades. Seven Jenbacher combined heating plants (CHPs) reliably and efficiently provide REWAG’s domestic, industry and commercial customers with power and heat. In light of the overall level of efficiency of up to 90 percent, thanks to the additional use of engine heat, CHPs are not only economical for the energy suppliers, but also very profitable in ecological terms—generating annual savings of around 23,700 tons of CO2. This means that GE, with its gas engine solutions, is making a valuable contribution to Germany’s role as the EU frontrunner in the field of combined heat and power.