GE eyes acquisitions in smart grid tech - paper

FRANKFURT, July 1 Fri Jul 1, 2011 2:55am EDT

FRANKFURT, July 1 (Reuters) - General Electric is looking for acquisitions in smart grid technology, the head of the U.S. company's northern and eastern European smart grid business told Financial Times Deutschland.

"The fact that smart grids are now becoming reality is attracting a lot of investors and potentials buyers," the paper quoted Keith Redfearn as saying in an article published on Friday.

Smart grids are electricity networks that integrate generators and consumers to make power supply more efficient and sustainable.

They require new communications systems, data integration and other software, smart meters, security systems and a host of other services.

The European Union wants about 80 percent of households to be equipped with smart meters by 2020.

"Germany is still a bit behind on this, especially because government support is not so pronounced," the paper quoted Redfearn as saying.

He said the push for investments was bigger in countries with less-developed electricity grids and in emerging markets, in which energy demand is rising rapidly.

Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba Corp last month agreed to buy unlisted Swiss-based meter maker Landis+Gyr in a deal valued at $2.3 billion in a bid to move into the promising overseas smart grid market.

This month, France's Schneider Electric said it would buy energy software provider Telvent for $1.36 billion as part of its push into energy efficient grids and emerging markets. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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