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Three energy giants invest in energy prospects

By: NASDAQ.com News
Posted: 1/28/2011 4:03:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: COP;GE;NRG

Three energy giants merged interests by investing $300 million in firms that demonstrate abilities with early-stage energy technology, according to the Houston Chronicle .

General Electric ( GE ), ConocoPhillips ( COP ) and NRG Energy ( NRG ) committed to help fund 30 companies during the next four years. Those companies are in North America, Israel and Europe, while the industries are renewable power generation, smart grid technology, energy efficiency, oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, emissions, water and biofuels.

"Ten years ago energy was getting just a fraction of that venture capital, one-tenth of one percent," Kevin Skillern, the head of venture capital investing at GE Energy Financial Services, told the publication. "The statement these three companies joining together makes is that there is a lot of opportunity for such investments today. And it's not just a one- or two- year trend, it's a generational thing."

The three partners will be granted minority equity stakes at the same time the 30 firms will have a chance for collaboration on a commercial scale.

Skillem said the partnership was not going to focus on only one kind of energy.

"And it's not just clean-tech we're talking about," Skillern said, "but advancements in conventional energy technologies too."