The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announces the release of the proceedings of the EERE Quality Control Workshop held December 9 and 10, 2013, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Energy Systems Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado. The purpose of the workshop was to convene government, industry, and other stakeholders to discuss the current status of quality control and metrology in manufacturing processes relevant to the EERE offices. In addition, workshop participants noted gaps in which current techniques are inadequate or missing altogether, discussed similarities in materials inspection and metrology needs across technologies, and identified opportunities for collaboration across EERE offices to address shared challenges.
The U.S. manufacturing sector accounts for about 12% of the nation’s gross domestic product, 70% of domestic industrial research and development spending, and 86% of all U.S. export goods. It employs 60% of industry's scientists and engineers. Each of these jobs, on average, supports 2.5 jobs in other sectors and, for high-tech manufacturing jobs, up to 16 other jobs are supported. Similarly, every dollar of manufactured goods sales supports $1.35 in output from other sectors—the highest "multiplier" of any sector of the economy.
In response to this importance, EERE has recognized the cross-cutting, pre-competitive, and enabling nature of quality control (QC) for a wide range of clean energy technologies. As such, the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Solar Energy Technologies Office, Vehicle Technologies Office, and Building Technologies Office, as well as EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office and Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, held this workshop to explore needs and potential cross-office synergies in this area.