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Cedric Ballay (CEO(Spain & Portugal) at GE Industrial Solutions): "We are at the beginning of a revolution in mobility"

Interviews > Cedric Ballay, CEO(Spain & Portugal) at GE Industrial Solutions

Cedric Ballay "We are at the beginning of a revolution in mobility"

What is the outcome of your activity in these two years? What about the evolution of these markets?

In GE Energy-Industrial Solutions we have managed to grow year after year in a market which is currently very complicated and that is clearly declining. We have gained market share since our efforts have been directed to consolidate us as a major supplier for the leaders of the electricity distribution in Spain and so to lay the groundwork for doing so in the future.

Another reason is due to the fact that our range of products and services have been increase to position us more and more as a provider capable of providing complete solutions... We’ve gone from being a player present in low voltage protection to be a provider of solutions in low and medium voltage, electric smart car infrastructure, renewable energy, motors, renovation services of electrical equipment, etc.

Above all we are working to be a key player in the sectors of the future for instance renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grids (Smart grids) and the electric car.

Two years ago you claimed that one of the challenges of GE was to become the number 2 in the electricity sector in Spain: Is the mission accomplished?

Without any doubt, we are now one of the most important actors in the energy market in this country. First we are growing organically and this is the basis of our development.

As I mentioned before we have increased significantly the scope of our solutions through the introduction of new products. GE is also carrying many acquisitions to keep expanding our supply. GE has invested in acquisitions worldwide, 11 billion dollars in the energy sector. We are making a strong commitment in this sector.

And do not forget that about 30% of the energy generated in Spain is produced with GE equipment either in the generation, transmission or distribution.

One of the challenges of GE Industrial Solutions has been to develop charging stations for electric vehicles Can you talk about this initiative? Is this your only bet in the field of sustainable mobility?

This is an area in which we firmly believe. We are at the beginning of a revolution in mobility. Many changes have to be done ...in the minds and in the habits of people, but also in terms of facilities and infrastructure. But it is key to a sustainable future.
Charging or docking stations are the most visible part of the iceberg of electric vehicles. We already sell solutions for this but a series of new generation is also expected in the coming months.
In this field, GE will provide much more. To make an electric vehicle viable we will have to implement the famous Smart Grids.

This is the solution so that electricit y networks may be able to distribute the additional electrical load due to cars more efficiently. In this field we also have many solutions ranging from the new generation of smart meters to relays for the distribution network and infrastructure management systems.

To support the electric car, GE also announced last year it would buy 25,000 electric cars by the year 2015 to use them as a car company for the customers of its subsidiary rental car company The rehabilitation of electrical installations is a business dimension in which GE Industrial Solutions is also interested. Why? What products or technologies has been developed company in this area?

We all know that building new homes or buildings has been reduced dramatically in recent years in Spain. On the other hand there has been an increase in renovations. We must help our partners (installers, distributors and end users) in the market with solutions adapted to this new reality. In terms of modular protection for level residential and tertiary housing we have the new range, UNIBIS, which occupies half the space. It allows us to renovate facilities and implement more features occupying the same space and minimizing changes. With regard to buildings and smart homes we are working on a new generation of solutions that will be very adapted to the renovation of buildings given that, amongst other reasons, it will be wireless.

Regarding photovoltaic applications, which products have been strengthened despite the current industry crisis? Which have a greater demand and why?

Our strength here is the solution we offer. We have a very wide range of attractive products that allows us to provide a complete solution: inverters, AC and DC electrical protection and now also photovoltaic panels.

We have just announced the record of efficiency reported in a thin film module of full size ... almost 13%. We have also announced the construction of a photovoltaic panel with a capacity of 400 megawatt. And we announced the acquisition of solar PrimeStar Inc.

With regard to the farm sector. What is the star product of the home?

GE is one of the leading suppliers of wind turbines in the world. With more than 15,500 wind turbine installations worldwide which represent more than 218 million hours of operation, 127,000 GWh of energy produced, our knowledge and experience spans over two decades. With factories in Germany, Norway, China, Canada and the United States, our current product portfolio includes wind turbines with a rated capacity ranging from 1.5 to 4.0 megawatts and support services ranging from development assistance to the logistics and maintenance.

Do you work also with other equipment related to renewable energy generation technologies or conventional?

The gas engine division of GE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of gasfueled reciprocating engines, generators and compact cogeneration modules for power generation. Our internal combustion engines are known for their high performance, low cost performance and exceptional reliability. The motors combine high power density with low emissions and low investment.

We supply gas engine systems for the combined heat and power (CHP) and power generation applications. Jenbacher engines operate with natural gas, a wide range of biogas, liquefied petroleum gas and industrial waste gas.

Are you planning to diversify its business in the short or medium term in the energy sector? What’s New in sight?

We talked about many developments in the above paragraphs that come of our R & D centers, one of them is in Spain in Mostoles, but we also talked about acquisitions. We will continue on this pathway. Amongst these acquisitions is Lineage which has created, for example, energyefficient solution for data centers or Dresser particularly in oil and gas sector. We have just announced the acquisition of converteam which gives us more solutions in terms of electrification and automation.

Some of them allow us to reduce engine consumption by 30%. We are convinced that we must continue to develop solutions that permit us to develop electrical infrastructures more and more efficient, clean and smart in accordance with our philosophy Ecomagination.
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