A third of the company’s Swiss workforce face layoffs, while 16 percent of its staff in Germany are also likely to be axed in the shake up.
GE said it had begun talks with labor leaders about the steps.
Demand for new thermal power plants dramatically dropped in all rich countries, GE said, while traditional utility customers have reduced their investments due to market deterioration and uncertainty about future climate policy measures.
Hardly any new power station projects had been commissioned in Germany in recent years, GE said. Heightened Asian competition had also increased price pressures.
Last month, General Electric CEO John Flannery outlined plans to reduce the manufacturing footprint of GE’s power business to respond to a sharp fall in demand for fossil fuel power equipment. GE had not specified how many jobs would be cut or where.
GE rival Siemens is cutting about 6,900 jobs, or close to 2 percent of its global workforce, mainly at its power and gas division, which has been hit by the rapid growth of renewables.