Manufacturing Clean Energy Blog
Manufacturing Clean Energy is the official blog of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC). It features insights from CEMAC staff, partners, and guests. To contribute to Manufacturing Clean Energy, contact us.
January 4, 2018
By Sertaç Akar, CEMAC Analyst
To understand more about the opportunities to improve and expand the geothermal power market, CEMAC developed a manufacturing analysis methodology of geothermal power plant turbines including materials, manufacturing equipment, machining process and cost model. We presented our case study findings at the Geothermal Resources Council annual meeting—the world's largest annual geothermal energy event—and were surprised to learn afterward that we won a Best Presentation Award.
October 26, 2017
By Jill Engel-Cox, CEMAC Director
Can the oil and gas industry work with renewable energy industry to bring about a clean energy future? That question was the basis for the recent workshop on the Nexus of Oil & Gas and Renewables in the Energy Future held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and sponsored by the International Energy Agency (IEA)'s Gas and Oil Technologies Collaboration Program (GOTCP).
September 18, 2017
By Derek Hill, NSF, and Jill Engel-Cox, CEMAC Director
In our latest report, we explore the link between innovation clusters and manufacturing. We examined several case studies of innovation clusters for three different clean energy technologies: solar PV clusters in California and the province of Jiangsu in China, wind turbine clusters in Germany and the U.S. Great Lakes region, and ethanol clusters in the U.S. Midwest and the state of São Paulo in Brazil. Learn more about our findings on the CEMAC blog.
August 8, 2017
By James McCall, CEMAC Analyst
Despite the recent boom in advanced clean energy technologies, little work has been done to understand the complexities and interconnections within these technologies' supply chains. New work by CEMAC strives to capture the materials, products, supply chains, and their linkages across the clean energy manufacturing landscape. We are now seeking partners and sponsors to help us expand this analysis.
Piecing Together the Fragments: the Importance of Independent Supply Chain Analysis to Private Industry
June 21, 2017
By Steven Freilich, Vice-Chair CEMAC Advisory Committee, DuPont (emeritus)
CEMAC's Benchmarks of Global Clean Energy Manufacturing is a tour de force of data collection and unbiased interpretation from honest brokers. It demonstrates the importance of independent analysis for private industry, which is often difficult for those industries to accomplish on their own.
May 30, 2017
By Emma Elgqvist, CEMAC Analyst
When comparing the costs of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, understanding the context is crucial. In the latest CEMAC blog, analyst Emma Elgqvist compares modeled and market prices for Li-ion batteries and observes that market factors—not manufacturing costs—are currently influencing pricing decisions. It's all based on a recent factsheet develop for the Department of Energy.
April 18, 2017
By Parthiv Kurup and Timothy Remo, CEMAC Analysts
The wind industry in the United States is growing rapidly, supported by a large domestic manufacturing sector. Now, manufacturers are seeking new ways to make their turbines bigger and more efficient. What role could additive manufacturing play in the future of the American wind energy industry? In this blog, CEMAC analysts highlight the state of U.S. wind manufacturing and how new advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing could change it.
April 12, 2017
By Kelsey Horowitz, Timothy Remo, and Samantha Reese, CEMAC Analysts
Silicon-carbide power electronics aren't just the next generation of energy savings in industrial motors and motor drives. They're a great, high-tech manufacturing opportunity. But where will this opportunity materialize? In this blog, CEMAC analysts break down the most competitive regions for silicon-carbide manufacturing, as presented in our latest report. And they look to the future, exploring the potential impacts of new innovations in silicon-carbide power electronics.
March 27, 2017
by Sadie Fulton, CEMAC analyst
The American solar photovoltaic market is dynamic and rapidly growing. In 2016, the U.S. solar industry installed 14.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar, a 97% increase over the capacity installed in 2015. Solar's growth trajectory and increasing market share continue to excite electricity producers and consumers alike. Yet, despite this success, PV manufacturing is not an industry for the faint of heart.
February 27, 2017
By Debbie Sandor, Project Leader of CEMAC Benchmark report
Benchmarks of Global Clean Energy Manufacturing—CEMAC's flagship report—is a first-of-its-kind effort to isolate and quantify the economic impacts of the clean energy manufacturing sector. The report establishes a baseline picture of where clean energy technologies are manufactured around the world, so we can track the development of the sector over the coming years.
December 14, 2016
By Parthiv Kurup, NREL, and Megan Johnson, ORNL
Hydropower has been a long-term stable power generation source in the U.S. for decades, and research shows there is significant electricity generation potential from powering domestic, non-power hydro dams, which would utilize smaller turbines. This potential growth in the U.S. and international market demand for small hydropower turbines could offer greater opportunities for local and more energy-efficient manufacturing practices, both within the U.S. and for export.
December 7, 2016
By Heather Head and Chuck Kurnik, NREL
Transitioning to a new clean energy economy requires investment in workforce development, as new technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines are manufactured, installed, and operated. Training for skilled workforce performance is essential to meet the needs of these clean energy industries.
November 18, 2016
By Samantha Reese, CEMAC Analyst
An essential part of every CEMAC project is to examine the global trade flow of a product's critical components as well as the end product itself. In Fiscal Year 2016, CEMAC studied the value chain of integrated light-emitting diode (LED) lighting.
October 25, 2016
By Jill Engel-Cox, Ph.D., CEMAC Director
This month, I had the great honor to participate in the 2016 Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum in Kyoto, Japan, where experts from across the globe engaged in discussion on energy, health, information technology, and engineering.
September 29, 2016
By Anelia Milbrandt and Sam Booth, CEMAC
Carbon fiber, also known as graphite fiber, is a lightweight, strong, and flexible material used in both structural applications (load-bearing) and non-structural applications (e.g., thermal insulation). The high cost of precursor materials and manufacturing, however, have kept carbon fiber in a niche market for applications that are mostly limited to high-performance structural products.
August 29, 2016
By Rebecca Hanes and Alberta Carpenter, NREL
NREL's Materials Flow through Industry (MFI) tool provides valuable insight into supply chain energy, greenhouse gases, resources and materials to inform future research on clean manufacturing technologies.
August 1, 2016
By Samantha Reese, CEMAC Analyst, and Maggie Mann, CEMAC Technical Director
Manufacturing is not just making products in a single facility. It includes the complex logistics of shipping materials from processing facilities and subcomponents from a network of suppliers.
Democratization of Manufacturing: Notes from the American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit
June 3, 2016
By Jill Engel-Cox, Ph.D., CEMAC Director
On May 12, I had the privilege of attending and participating in a panel at the 2016 American Energy & Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) Summit at the City College of New York's Great Hall. It was especially exciting to share some of CEMAC's progress and findings since it was formally launched at the previous AEMC Summit in September 2015.
June 3, 2016
By Sertac Akar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
In the 10 years ending in December 2015, global geothermal power capacity increased by 4.4 GW to 13.3 GW. See the major players in turbine manufacturing in this first look at CEMAC's geothermal market analysis.
May 12, 2016
By Kelsey Horowitz, Mike Woodhouse, and Ran Fu (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) and Tonio Buonassisi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
CEMAC researchers explain minimum sustainable price and why it can be crucial to industry sustainability.
April 13, 2016
By Emma Elgqvist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL's Emma Elqgvist shares early results of CEMAC's latest study on the manufacturing value chains of automotive lithium ion batteries, an essential part of the transition to a clean energy economy.
March 4, 2016
By Derek Hill, National Science Foundation
The performance of high tech and R&D-intensive U.S. industries may provide insight to the successes and challenges of regions with clean energy manufacturing.
January 29, 2016
By Jill Engel-Cox, Ph.D., Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center
The U.S. Energy Department's Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) program celebrates 40 years of service to industry this year.
January 21, 2016
By Michael Woodhouse, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Last November, I traveled to Saudi Arabia, a leading producer of oil, to deliver a keynote talk at the Solar Future 2015 Symposium.
December 23, 2015
By Ahmad Mayyas, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
The annual Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition is one of the best places for hydrogen and fuel cell professionals to see and be seen.
December 9, 2015
By Tom Catania, Executive in Residence, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan
Smith describes how the collective impact of individuals pursuing their own interest contributes to the collective good.
November 10, 2015
By Jill Engel-Cox, Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC) program director>
Twenty-five years ago, I started my career as a junior air quality engineer, climbing the smokestacks of industrial manufacturing plants in southern California.
October 23, 2015
In September, I was honored to speak at the American Manufacturing and Competitiveness Summit in Washington, D.C.
June 22, 2015
By Maggie Mann, CEMAC Technical Director
It's the people at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) who have made a tremendous difference in developing amazing technologies that can really change the world.
I have worked as an analyst and manager at NREL for more than 20 years, and I've recently taken on a new role as the technical director of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC).