GE Unit to Invest 100s of Millions of Euros in EU Renewables

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric Co., expects to invest hundreds of millions of euros in renewable energy across Europe this year.

“We’re very much in growth mode at the moment,” said Andrew Marsden, managing director and European leader. “If we find the right investments, we will deploy the capital.”

About a third of its $18 billion invested is in renewables, with stakes in more than 12,000 megawatts of wind projects, he said. It’s attracted to the predictable income stream projects generate through government subsidies such as feed-in tariffs.

European nations offer incentives such as premium rates for clean power to help meet the region’s target of generating 20 percent of its energy needs from renewables by 2020. The policy seeks to boost energy security and curb fossil-fuel emissions.

GE Energy Financial Services invests in projects individually valued at more than $25 million that utilize proven technologies and produce a running income, Marsden said. The firm’s main focus is western Europe including Ireland, the U.K., France and Germany and it’s also considering the Norwegian and Swedish markets, he said.

The company in February bought two wind farms in Ireland from Element Power and said it’s exploring other opportunities with the company.

GE gained 1.3 percent to $25.43 at the close in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Louise Downing in London at ldowning4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net Tony Barrett, Alastair Reed