In a recent interview with the Financial Times, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt says nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it’s hard to justify investing in it. Coming from one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment, that’s saying something. “It’s really a gas and wind world today,” said Immelt.
According to Immelt a combination of gas and either wind or solar will bolster most countries around the world in the coming years. With a 75 percent decline in solar panel market prices in the past three years and both a decline in wind turbine prices and a push for offshore wind turbines, countries are shying away from nuclear energy especially after Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
But what impact will this have on composite manufacturers? Numbers indicate that with a growing number of composite manufactures are focused on diversifying their markets to include natural gas extraction and renewable forms of energy. In essence, manufacturers are poised for increased orders and a booming business that Immelt indicates is eminent. An increased support in natural gas and renewable forms of energy by countries with growing populations will also push for R&D focused on higher performing, longer lasting materials—a perfect fit for composites.
Read the rest of the Financial Times interview with Jeff Immelt.