Renewable energy has become GE Energy’s fastest-growing business area and the company is aiming to invest $6 billion in the sector by 2010.

This latest target is an increase of 50 per cent over a previously announced target and reflects both high fossil fuel prices and growing popular support for clean power, according to GE Energy Financial Services, GE Energy’s investment arm.

GE Energy Financial Services has so far invested a total of $3 billion in renewable energy, a milestone marked by closure of the company’s single highest-value wind deal. In 2007, the company invested $2 billion alone in renewable energy, making GE a major player in a global market worth $60 billion annually.

“Thanks to our strong customer relationships, our expertise, GE’s technical capabilities, high fossil fuel prices and popular support for cleaner power, renewable energy has become our fastest-growing business,” said Alex Urquhart, President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.

He continued: “With our broad capabilities to invest equity and debt within and outside the United States – not only in wind but in solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal power – we have become a major player in a $60 billion annual renewable energy market.”

GE Energy Financial Services expects that by 2010, renewable energy will make up 20-25 per cent of its overall energy and water portfolio, up from 10 per cent in 2010. The company is most active in the wind sector.

GE says that it crossed the $3 billion mark with a $300 million equity investment in a 600 MW portfolio of wind farms spanning four states. Its global wind equity holdings now amount to more than 3600 MW.