In a piece for Ideas Lab, Matthew Stepp and Clifton Yin argue for continued support for DOE's recent Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative. Manufacturing has been an overlooked and underfunded component of the nation’s economic competitiveness strategy for far too long and it’s particularly important for the nascent clean energy economy. The Initiative is a significant first step on the path to a robust U.S. clean energy manufacturing sector and will be a boon to clean energy innovation as a whole.
Why the 2000s Were a Lost Decade for American Manufacturing
ITIF estimates that over 60% of U.S. manufacturing job losses in the 2000s were due to competitiveness challenges, rather than productivity gains. While this was occurring, and while our leaders could not agree on whether it was a problem, other nations such as China and India were greatly increasing market share in the same industrial sectors, through coordinated national efforts to expand innovation, productivity and exports. We can expect overall manufacturing output, and the jobs that are based on it, to continue to recede unless we address the real problems we face. Namely, how do we make American firms more globally competitive to increase output, production and real growth? But that will be the topic for another day.
Advanced Manufacturing: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell presented on the future of advanced manufacturing at the AAAS annual conference. His presentation argued for the correct policies to support a robust advanced manufacturing climate in the United States.
Breaking Down the Federal Clean Energy Innovation Budget: Manufacturing Investments
This is the 5th and final post in a series analyzing and detailing federal investments in clean energy innovation. Part 1 defined “clean energy innovation.” Part 2 broke down the federal clean energy innovation budget. Part 3 took a look at federal investments in clean energy demonstration projects. Part 4 took a deeper dive into clean energy deployment policies.
The first post of this series called attention to the eminent need for supporting a well-developed and funded clean energy manufacturing sector as part of a robust innovation ecosystem. The feedback loops between manufacturing and research is explicitly linked. Even with all the R&D, demonstration, and deployment of clean energy, the United States could lose its competitive advantage over production resulting in the industry (and future innovation) to move overseas without strong policy support for advanced manufacturing. But like many other parts of America’s energy innovation budget, support for advanced manufacturing is rapidly declining.