Building on its existing manufacturing investments in efforts like the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, on March 26, 2013 the Energy Department launched the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI). This initiative is focused on increasing U.S. competitiveness in the production of clean energy technologies and strengthening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across all sectors by increasing energy productivity. Key elements of the initiative include:
Increasing funding for clean energy manufacturing research and development that will accelerate U.S.-based manufacturing of cost-competitive clean energy technologies, from wind, solar, and geothermal to batteries and biofuels.
- As a part of this increased focus on manufacturing research and development, the Energy Department awarded over $23 million in innovative manufacturing research and development projects.
- The Energy Department has also released a $15 million funding opportunity to reduce the manufacturing costs of solar energy technology, including photovoltaics and concentrated solar power, and demonstrate cost-competitive innovative manufacturing technologies that can achieve commercial production in the next few years.
- In the coming months, the Energy Department plans to issue a new funding opportunity that supports a new manufacturing innovation institute. This step supports President Obama's call for a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, as discussed in the State of the Union last month.
- Providing additional energy productivity training and technical assistance for manufacturers that build on current efforts like the Industrial Assessment Centers that offer no-cost energy efficiency assessments for manufacturers and the Better Plants Challenge.
- Leveraging the capabilities of our National Laboratories to conduct targeted analysis that evaluates the U.S. competitive position in manufacturing and prioritizes strategic investments that strengthen American competitiveness in the global energy market.
- Hosting a series of regional and national summits to gather input on manufacturing priorities, identify barriers and opportunities for growing clean energy manufacturing competitiveness, and showcase national and regional models that address these priorities.
- Launching new public-private partnerships focused on improving U.S. clean energy manufacturing competitiveness. For example, the U.S. Council on Competitiveness is partnering with the Energy Department to convene a series of dialogues among government, small business, industry, research institutions, and labor leaders to help develop and recommend strategies for growing the U.S. clean energy manufacturing sector.
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