The AES Corporation—one of the world’s largest global power companies, with 2005 revenues of US$11.1 billion—announced plans to invest approximately $1 billion over the next three years to expand the company’s alternative energy business and bring to market new projects and technologies to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions.
Through the creation of an alternative energy business group, AES said it intends to expand its existing alternative energy businesses in wind power generation, biomass and the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and announced the following new initiatives:
Investing in the commercial development of projects and technologies that directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions or create emission offsets under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. AES said that, since October 2005, it has already committed to approximately $100 million in investments which will generate over 17 million tonnes of carbon reduction credits through 2012.
Tripling its investment in its wind generation business over the next three years. AES entered the wind generation business in 2004 and has invested approximately $265 million to date. AES currently operates 600 MW of wind facilities and is pursuing another 2,000 MW of wind projects in development, primarily in the US. The company said it also is currently developing wind power projects in Europe, China, India and Central and South America, with an emphasis on countries with existing AES businesses.
Entering into strategic partnerships with Los Alamos National Laboratory and XL TechGroup, to identify, evaluate and bring to market new technologies in the alternative energy area. AES's partnerships with Los Alamos and XL Tech Group—an architect and builder of high value new businesses, primarily in the ecotech, biotech and medtech fields—give AES the opportunity to develop and commercialize proprietary energy-related technologies developed by these entities.
AES said it is evaluating future investments in other sources of alternative energy such as solar power and wave technologies. The company said it is also evaluating future investments in non-electric business lines such as ethanol, biodiesel, methane capture and conversion projects, synthetic fuels and new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Global energy consumption is expected to more than double by 2025. We believe that traditional ways of producing energy alone will not meet this demand, due to rising production and transportation costs, energy security issues and the growing recognition of environmental impacts. That leaves an enormous opportunity for alternative sources of energy to fulfill a large part of this growing demand.—William Luraschi, AES Executive Vice President, Business Development
AES started a Climate Change business in 2005 and is pursuing offset projects in the agricultural, reforestation and landfill gas and coal mine methane emission reduction sectors. The company has acquired rights to more than 17 million tonnes of certified emission reduction credits (CERs), and intends to become one of the largest producers of CERs within the next three years.