Clean energy manufacturing is booming in the United States. U.S. clean energy investment topped $51 billion in 2014 alone, and even more growth is expected in the $250 billion clean energy market worldwide in coming years. America has an important opportunity to continue growing clean energy manufacturing industries, along with the high quality jobs and stronger local economies that come with them.
So what is clean energy manufacturing, anyway? On the one hand, it’s about the production of clean energy products, like wind turbines, LED lightbulbs, and solar panels; on the other, it’s about increased energy efficiency and productivity in American manufacturing plants. More efficient facilities and manufacturing processes could mean billions of dollars in cost savings, while clean energy products will help the United States reach its energy and climate goals.
Advancements in clean energy manufacturing are changing the kinds of products we make and how they are built. Here are a few examples:
- Advanced fiber-reinforced polymer composites combine strong fibers with tough plastics so that the end product is stronger but lighter than steel. As manufacturing processes for making advanced composites become faster and more efficient, lower costs will lead to many industries using advanced composites—including clean energy industries.
- New production advancements in lithium-ion batteries, battery technology used for plug-in electric vehicles, will lead to significant cost reductions and more plug-in electric vehicles on the streets.
- Additive manufacturing, which creates 3D objects directly from a computer model, reducing wasted materials and saving energy, will likely make a huge impact in manufacturing, as it gives industry new design flexibility, reduces energy use, and shortens time to market.
Watch the video above to learn more about how clean energy manufacturing is reducing energy use and opening pathways to increased American competitiveness in clean energy technologies. Also, follow us on Twitter this week for more clean energy manufacturing coverage, including the American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit tomorrow and Wednesday.