Companies look to new energy

Jan. 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM
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HOUSTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Top U.S. energy companies announced they were committing $300 million to develop a joint venture to develop emerging energy technology.

General Electric, NRG Energy Inc. and ConocoPhillips announced the formation of Energy Technology Ventures, a collaboration that will help fund roughly 30 "growth-stage" companies working on new and emerging energy technologies during the next four years.

"This joint venture will build on our long history of innovation and expand our network of collaborators to speed the invention, development and commercialization of new technologies," said Mark Little, senior vice president of GE Global Research, in a statement.

The first investments targeted by the joint venture include solar photovoltaic devices for low-cost, solar energy, so-called clean coal technology and non-food biofuels, the companies said.

U.S. President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address Tuesday called for more American ingenuity as the country emerged from sustained economic recession.

"America's greatest competitive advantage will always be our people's ability to innovate and, with only moderate capital investments, we will unlock this innovation," said Clint Freeland, a senior vice president at NRG, in his statement.

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