Manufacturing Savvy

Can Clean Energy Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing?

Yes it can, according to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

"Clean energy can revitalize U.S. manufacturing, and Ohio companies will lead the way in building the technology of the 21st century," Brown said. "Clean energy technology utilizes many of the same components manufactured for the auto industry. Done right, clean energy policy will create new demand for Ohio manufacturing. By utilizing our state's skilled workforce and longstanding auto component supply chain, we can make Ohio the Silicon Valley of Clean Energy Manufacturing."

Brown puts an Ohio spin on a report out earlier this year by Blue Green Alliance (BGA) and the Renewable Energy Policy Project that estimated more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs could be created across the U.S., and more than 42,000 existing manufacturers could experience growth based on a demand for parts, with the enactment of a federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of 25% by 2025.

Echoing support for RES is Robert Gramlich of the American Wind Energy Association."Central to our strategy to both create jobs and reduce carbon emissions is developing and producing clean energy technologies in the United States, and a strong, federal RES will help us to do that. "

In a report released last month by Blue Green Alliance, which is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy, renewable energy technologies provide three to six times as many jobs as equivalent investments in fossil fuels when manufacturing, installation, operation and maintenance jobs are taken into account.

Funding sources to make this a reality include state-level feed-in tariffs, an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard and extending the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. Additional tools include revolving loan funds, like those included in Senator Brown's IMPACT Act, and zero-interest Clean Renewable Energy Bonds.

Increased investments in government research and development, and expanding the U.S. Department of Commerce's Manufacturing Extension Partnership, are key to this strategy for building a clean energy assembly line in the United States, says BGA.

To view the report, " Building a Clean Energy Assembly Line: How Renewable Energy Can Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing and the American Middle Class" visit http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/press_room/private_publications?id=0019

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