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Products and Publications

Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC) products, publications, services, insights, and tools illuminate global manufacturing capacities and trade flows of products in the clean energy technology supply chain, the costs of producing clean energy products around the world, the strategic factors that influence factory location decisions, and other key insights.

Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Opportunities in Power Electronics
November 2017

A new CEMAC report published by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory explores the Wide Bandgap Power Electronics market, applications, and potential energy savings that could be realized by the next generation of semiconductors. The study identifies key areas where further resources and investments of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy could have a positive impact on U.S. competitiveness. After considering the current market, the authors identified several potential near-term application areas as having significant market and energy savings potential with respect to clean energy applications:

  • Data centers (uninterruptible power supplies and server power supplies)
  • Renewable energy generation (photovoltaic-solar and wind)
  • Motor drives (industrial, commercial and residential)
  • Rail traction, and
  • Hybrid and electric vehicles (traction and charging).

After the initial explorative analyses, it became clear that SiC is positioned to be the principal wide bandgap power device material for the chosen markets in the near future.

Energy Innovation Clusters and their Influence on Manufacturing: A Case Study Perspective
September 2017

The wide-scale adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy has coincided with renewed interest in regional innovation clusters, which are geographic concentrations of specialized industries and technologies. Governments seek to develop innovation clusters in their location though policies and funding to capture economic value in innovation of advanced energy and other clean technologies. This study presents a qualitative case study approach to evaluating the relationship between innovation clusters and manufacturing.

Benchmarks of Global Clean Energy Manufacturing
January 2017

The Benchmarks of Global Clean Energy Manufacturing will help policymakers and industry gain deeper understanding of global manufacturing of clean energy technologies. CEMAC's analysis of the product supply chains can inform decisions related to manufacturing facilities for extracting and processing raw materials, making the array of required subcomponents, and assembling the final product. The report is the first of its kind to isolate and quantify the economic impacts of the clean energy manufacturing sectors. Read the full report or the executive summary.

CEMAC FY15 Research Highlights
March 2016
CEMAC has conducted four major studies on the manufacturing of clean energy technologies. Three of these focused on the end product: solar photovoltaic modules, wind turbines, and automotive lithium-ion batteries. The fourth area focused on a key material for manufacturing clean energy technologies, carbon fiber. This booklet summarizes key findings of CEMAC work to date, describes CEMAC's research methodology, and describes work to come. Watch and hear CEMAC analysts present key findings of the report in this recorded webinar (transcript).

Select a topic or technology to see relevant products and publications from CEMAC and its partners.


Carbon Fiber from Biomass
September 2016
This study provides a comprehensive overview of carbon fiber (CF) precursors from biomass and their market potential, examining the potential CF production from these precursors, the state of technology and applications, and the production cost where data are available. The main contribution of this study is that it provides technical and market information about each bio-based CF precursor in one document, while other studies have focused on one precursor at a time. The approach allows for a comprehensive view of the CF potential from all biomass sources and offers a detailed reference for both novice and experienced professionals interested in CF production from alternative sources.

Global Carbon Fiber Composites Supply Chain Competitiveness Analysis
May 2016
This analysis identifies key opportunities in the carbon fiber supply chain where resources and investments can help advance the clean energy economy. The report focuses on four application areas—wind energy, aerospace, automotive, and pressure vessels—that top the list of industries using carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced polymers. For each of the four application areas, the report addresses the supply and demand trends within that sector, supply chain, and costs of carbon fiber and components.

Automotive Lithium-ion Cell Manufacturing: Regional Cost Structures and Supply Chain Considerations
April 2016
Manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs)—which power many consumer electronics and are increasingly used to power electric vehicles—is heavily concentrated in East Asia. To illuminate the factors that drive regional competitiveness in automotive LIB cell production, this study models cell manufacturing cost and minimum sustainable price, and examines development of LIB supply chains and current LIB market conditions. The study shows that factors driving the cost competitiveness of LIB manufacturing locations are mostly built—supply chain developments and competition, access to materials, and production expertise. Some regional costs—including cost of capital, labor, and materials—are significant and should be considered.

Insights from Hydrogen Refueling Station Manufacturing Competitiveness Analysis
December 2015

NREL is collaborating with Great Lakes Wind Network on comprehensive hydrogen refueling stations manufacturing competitiveness and supply chain analyses. This presentation to the 2015 Fuel Cell Seminar and Energy Exposition highlights initial findings from this CEMAC analysis.

Automotive Lithium-ion Battery Supply Chain and U.S. Competitiveness Considerations
June 2015

This study highlights the U.S. foothold in automotive lithium-ion battery (LIB) production, globally. U.S.-based manufacturers comprise 17% of global production capacity. With increasing demand for electric and hybrid electric vehicles and U.S. vehicle manufacturers' proximity to customers, there is a growing opportunity for the United States to compete globally in the automotive LIB market.

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Solar Photovoltaics

"System Dynamics of Polysilicon for Solar Photovoltaics: A Framework for Investigating the Energy Security of Renewable Energy Supply Chains"
January 2018

CEMAC recently teamed up with Lexidyne, LLC and the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth to publish a new article in theSustainability journal. The article examines high-purity polysilicon, a key material in solar photovoltaics, that has experienced significant price fluctuations, affecting the manufacturing capacity and cost of both polysilicon and solar panels. CEMAC developed and validated an initial system dynamics framework to gain insights into global trade in polysilicon. The model represents an initial framework for exploration. Three regions were modeled—China, the United States, and the rest of the world—for a range of trade scenarios to understand the impacts of import duties and non-price drivers on the relative volumes of imports and domestic supply. Read the journal article.

"The Present and Future Silver Cost Component in Crystalline Silicon PV Module Manufacturing"
PV Tech
March 2016
This paper seeks to determine how increased c-Si PV module production might affect future silver demand and prices, as well as the impacts on total c-Si module manufacturing costs. To evaluate how PV's changing demand for silver might affect future silver prices, and the impact in terms of manufacturing costs, some scenarios of silver's contribution to c-Si PV cell manufacturing costs are compiled on the basis of projected changes in demand and price as a result of changes in material intensity. The analysis indicates that an expansion of c-Si production from 55GW/year to 250GW/year results in a 0.05-0.7¢/W increase in manufacturing costs because of higher silver prices.

"Economic Measurements of Polysilicon for the Photovoltaic Industry: Market Competition and Manufacturing Competitiveness"
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
March 2015

Illustration of the manufacturing supply chain of wafer-based monocrystalline silicon photovoltaics, which starts with polysilicon, then moves to Czochralski ingot and wafering, then cells, and finally, modules.

Wafer-based monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic manufacturing supply chain

Using the calculations of several economic indicators, this study quantitatively measures the market competition, manufacturing costs, and prices for different technologies in different facility locations, and capital cost requirements to enter today's polysilicon market. The study finds:

  • Improved gross margins and net incomes for major polysilicon manufacturers in 2014, the market has gradually shifted from aggressive pricing strategies for winning market share into a more consolidated market with improved profitability.
  • High capital cost requirements in the polysilicon industry present a significant entry barrier, which could deter new entrants and could also catalyze further consolidation in the polysilicon industry.

"Perspectives on the pathways for cadmium telluride photovoltaic module manufacturers to address expected increases in the price for tellurium"
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
August 2013

This study investigates the impacts of potential tellurium (Te) supply constraints on future cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) module deployment and finds:

  • CdTe PV modules can remain cost competitive with future projections for crystalline silicon PV modules—even with a 10-times increase in Te prices—if technology and manufacturing improvement efficiency and thickness targets are realized.
  • If copper mining is relied upon as the sole source of Te, CdTe PV technology may be constrained to around 10 gigawatts (GW) of annual production by 2020 and 40–70 GW of annual CdTe production by 2030.

A Manufacturing Cost Analysis Relevant to Single- and Dual-Junction Photovoltaic Cells Fabricated with III-Vs and III-Vs Grown on Silicon.
September 2013

This study examines the current, mid-term, and long-term manufacturing costs for III-Vs deposited by traditional Metal Organic Vapor Phase Epitaxy.

"Assessing the drivers of regional trends in solar photovoltaic manufacturing"
Energy & Environmental Science
October 2013

In this study, researchers conclude that production scale, not lower labor costs, drives China's current advantage in manufacturing solar photovoltaic energy systems. The study shows:

  • China's historical advantage in low-cost manufacturing is mainly due to advantages of production scale and offset by other country-specific factors, such as investment risk and inflation.
  • Technology innovation and global supply chain development could enable increased manufacturing scale around the world, resulting in broader, subsidy-free PV deployment and the potential for manufacturing price parity in most regions.

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Wind Power

Global Carbon Fiber Composites Supply Chain Competitiveness Analysis
May 2016
This analysis identifies key opportunities in the carbon fiber supply chain where resources and investments can help advance the clean energy economy. The report focuses on four application areas—wind energy, aerospace, automotive, and pressure vessels—that top the list of industries using carbon fiber and carbon fiber reinforced polymers. For each of the four application areas, the report addresses the supply and demand trends within that sector, supply chain, and costs of carbon fiber and components.

Supply Chain and Blade Manufacturing Considerations in the Global Wind Industry
December 2013

This briefing provides an overview of supply chain developments in the global wind industry and a detailed assessment of blade manufacturing considerations for U.S. end-markets. This study finds:

  • Factory location decisions are influenced by a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors; proximity to end markets is often a key consideration, especially for manufacturers of large turbine components.
  • Technology advancements in the wind power sector continue and larger blade designs are being pursued in the market. This may increase U.S.-based manufacturing opportunities.

Economic Development Impact of 1,000 MW of Wind Energy in Texas
August 2011

This study estimates state and local impacts of two Texas wind projects (1.4 gigawatts total) completed in 2005–2008 and finds:

  • An estimated 4,100 jobs created during 4-year construction period and 350 jobs annually during 20-year operation
  • Total economic impact over 20-year life estimated at $1.8 billion statewide and over $730 million to local communities in a 100-mile range of wind sites.

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Industrial Equipment and Facilities

Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Facility Siting and Policy Considerations: International Comparison
June 2017

This report focuses on national polices to support carbon fiber manufacturing, how these policies and other factors influence manufacturing location decisions, and opportunities to further support carbon fiber manufacturing and deployment. The report is a follow-on report to CEMAC's initial report on an analysis of the competitiveness of the global carbon fiber composites supply chain.

A Manufacturing Cost and Supply Chain Analysis of SiC Power Electronics Applicable to Medium-Voltage Motor Drives
March 2017
Wide bandgap semiconductor devices, especially silicon carbide (SiC) devices, are increasingly being considered for use in power electronics applications, where they can improve efficiency, performance, footprint, and—potentially—total system cost compared to traditional silicon devices. This study analyzes the manufacturing costs and supply chains of SiC-based power electronics, in particular, those used in medium-voltage motor drives. By modeling regional cost drivers under different scenarios, this study illustrates regional cost drivers and provides an overview of global supply chain issues to help elucidate key factors that may influence manufacturing location investment decisions.

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