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WindEnergy 2014: GE keeps focus on eastern Europe

GERMANY: GE is keeping a focus on growth in eastern Europe despite the political issues in the region.

Speaking at the European Wind Energy Association conference in March, GE vice president for renewbales Ann McEntee said the company saw potential for growth in Russia. However, since then the country's political situation has worsened as a result of its dispute with Ukraine. 

At the WindEnergy Hamburg event, GE general manager for renewables Cliff Harris acknowledged the circumstances had changed, but said eastern Europe was still promising. He highlighted Poland as a strong area of growth. 

He said: "Poland is going through reforms, but rather than slowing down, it has created a bubble of growth."

Harris also said the company's product focus in Europe was on low wind technology. "[In Europe] most of the good sites have been taken. Like other manufacturers, we are looking at low wind and taller towers, larger rotors. That's really where GE is going."

Harris joined GE's wind division around 16 months ago. Prior to this he has worked for the US company's nuclear and gas divisions.

Asked about the comparison between these sectors and wind, Harris said: "The big contrast is the pace of change. The nuclear industry is slow and very regulated. Even the gas and coal industries are slower. [In wind] you've got to be quick, nimble, your products have got to come online quicker."

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