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GE leans on power, renewables business segments

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GE leans on power, renewables business segments

's power andrenewables businesses continue to buttress the company's revenue growth despitetroubles in its oil and gas business, GE executives said on the company'ssecond-quarter earnings call July 22.

"GEhad a good quarter in a slow-growth and volatile environment," GE CEOJeffrey Immelt said on the call. Driven by falling U.S. rig andwell counts, GE's oil and gas revenue was down 22% in the second quartercompared to the same period in 2015. A weak coal market also contributed torevenue in its transportation business segment falling 13%.

But strength in the power and aviation businesses helpedcreate a portfolio that offset the oil and gas and transportation weaknesses,Immelt said. These results are broadly similar to what the company for the first quarterof the year.

Power revenue was up 31% and renewable energy revenue up28%. For the first half of the year, power revenues increased by 23% andrenewable energy by 41%, compared to the same period in 2015.There were 637 orders for wind turbines in the quarter, down from 888 in thesecond quarter last year. Two-thirds of these 2016 orders were for GE'srecently released 2-MW and 3-MW turbines. Many in the windindustry hope thatmore powerful turbines such as these can help make the production of energy bywind farms more efficient and thus make wind a more competitive energy source.

"Themarket reception of the new wind products has been solid, and we areprogressing down the cost curve. We think the outlook for the onshore windbusiness is very encouraging," GE CFO Jeffrey Bornstein said during thecall.

Alongwith the new turbine designs, a related component of GE's renewable business isa suite of digital applications meant to improve a wind farm's ability todetect operating anomalies and maintenance needs. The company recentlydisclosed that it wasrolling out these applications this year as part of the service agreements forthe 2-MW and 3-MW wind turbines.