GE Energy
Photo courtesy of GE

GE Energy launched a new Power Conversion business, which it says will help the company expand its presence in the fast-growing energy efficiency, electrification and automation sector valued at $30 billion.

Power Conversion is the next step in GE Energy’s integration of Converteam, which the company acquired in September 2011 for $3.2 billion as part of $11 billion of acquisitions that have expanded GE Energy’s portfolio beyond the power generation sector into critical industries that rely on “cleaner, smarter, more efficient energy,” according to an official announcement.

Power Conversion’s technologies include process controls, automation systems and high-efficiency power electronics, motors and generators.

“We are combining our technology and consultative offerings in systems integration to help the world’s fastest growing energy and industrial sectors improve the efficiency and profitability of their operations,” Power Conversion CEO Joe Mastrangelo said in the announcement. “Our strengths in these sectors will allow GE to lead by managing the entire energy lifecycle, where our customers want us to play a bigger role.”

GE says large industrial companies are replacing mechanical processes with high-efficiency, customized electric alternatives that deliver better reliability, require less maintenance, and create lower emissions in industrial processes. This “mega-trend” is called electrification, which is expected to double over the next 20 years. One of the trend’s leading drivers is the oil and gas industry, which is using electrical systems to extract and transport natural gas more efficiently.

Approximately 25 percent of electricity produced globally is used to power electric motors in a wide range of industrial applications. GE estimates Power Conversion’s solutions could help improve energy efficiency by 30 percent, helping to reduce electricity consumption, energy intensity, and greenhouse gas emissions. Power Conversion, with GE’s Industrial Solutions business also will address all steps in the energy conversion chain with a portfolio built around rotating machines, power electronics, wind converters, solar inverters, and process control technologies.

GE says the fastest growth in the industrial automation sector is expected to be in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the Middle East. The expansion will be driven by a demand in energy efficiency and integrated electrical and mechanical solutions critical to customers who are competing in highly competitive industries.