MIT’s online Technology Review has posted an interesting interview with Mark Little, GE’s director of research, on a number of energy-related topics. He reveals some interesting thoughts on GE’s plan for building a 350-employee sodium-nickel-chlorine battery manufacturing plant (that hinges on the approval of its request for DOE funding), Smart Grid technology and the company’s strategies to respond to anticipated markets created by carbon emission legislation.

Little says GE sees opportunities in the approach of a world that is considerably carbon constrained, and notes that this is why the firm is working on solar, wind, nuclear and Smart Grid applications. The emphasis is both on materials research and new manufacturing techniques.

Regarding nuclear power, he describes a new reactor proposal before the NRC and an additional advance system under construction in Asia, but notes that these are essentially refinements and simplifications of current traditional boiling-water approaches.

Check out the video here.