General Electric to Ditch Coal to Focus on Sustainable Power Generation

The exit may include divestitures, site closings, and impact its publicly held subsidiaries

September 23, 2020


General Electric (GE), a U.S.-based multinational conglomerate, announced its plans to exit the new build coal power market.

The company said that it would focus and invest in its renewable energy and power generation businesses. It would work to make electricity more affordable, reliable, accessible, and sustainable.

General Electric stated that its steam power business would carry on to provide turbine islands for the nuclear market and service existing coal and nuclear projects.

GE’s Steam Power business will work with customers on existing obligations as it pursues this exit, the conglomerate noted in its statement. The company cautioned about the closing of facilities, impact on jobs, and disinvestments due to its recent decision.

“With the continued transformation of GE, we are focused on power generation businesses that have attractive economics and a growth trajectory,” said Russell Stokes, GE Senior Vice President and President & Chief Executive Officer of GE Power Portfolio.

“As we pursue this exit from the new-build coal power market, we will continue to support our customers, helping them to keep their existing plants running in a cost-effective and efficient way with best in class service technology and service expertise,” he added.

Recently, sixty U.S.-based companies teamed up to persuade American insurers to ditch fossil fuel-based businesses. In a letter to insurers, these businesses said: “As insurance customers, we are expressing our desire for insurance coverage…that isn’t tied to supporting fossil fuels and actively supports renewable energy.”

Several international banks also announced plans to stop financing new coal-powered projects and coal companies in the last year.

The latest decision came from Deutsche Bank, which tightened its ‘Fossil Fuels Policy,’ providing for a stricter framework when dealing with business activities involving coal, oil, and gas. The bank is likely to end its global business activities in coal mining by 2025 to facilitate the transformation to a sustainable economy.

Meanwhile, International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank Group, recently said that it no longer makes equity investments in financial institutions that lack plans to exit investments in coal-related activities.


Image credit: GE