DOE Pushes For Boost In Productivity, Efficiency, And Innovation In Clean Energy Manufacturing


The U.S. Department of Energy in September announced expansions of its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative in support of the American manufacturing sector and a new initiative to support President Obama’s goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030. By advancing the development of innovative manufacturing technologies, investing in substantial energy efficiency upgrades at production plants across the country, and training American workers for the advanced manufacturing jobs of tomorrow, the Department of Energy is helping make America’s manufacturing sector even stronger in an intensely competitive global market.

“In part due to a dramatic increase in domestic energy production and the Obama Administration’s policies and support, the U.S. manufacturing sector has seen a resurgence in recent years, adding700,000 jobs since 2009,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Continued smart investments in advanced manufacturing technologies, and the American workforce today, will strengthen our competitive edge for decades to come.”

The DOE announced a partnership with the Council on Competitiveness and the Alliance to Save Energy to launch Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030. Private sector and state and local leaders can engage in energy productivity dialogues, commit to the goal, and share best practices for capturing the economic benefits of improved energy productivity. Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 will create a national roadmap to grow our economy while reducing our energy costs.

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced the partnership at DOE’s 2014 American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit, jointly sponsored by the Council on Competitiveness.

U.S. manufacturing is more competitive than it has been in decades. Manufacturing output has increased 30 percent since the end of the recession, growing at roughly twice the pace of the economy overall, the longest period where manufacturing has outpaced U.S. economic output since 1965.

In order to accelerate American innovation and boost our competitiveness in the manufacturing technologies of the future, the Department will provide $23 million for 12 projects across the country to advance technologies aimed at helping American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their manufacturing facilities, lower costs and develop new manufacturing technologies. These Innovative Manufacturing Initiative project selections leverage federal investments with additional cost share from the private sector to develop leading-edge materials, tools, and techniques that will save U.S. companies money by reducing the energy or materials needed to make their products.

Across the U.S., manufacturers spend more than $200 billion each year to power their plants. Through the Energy Department’s Better Plants Program, American manufacturers voluntarily commit to reduce energy intensity by about 25 percent over ten years, or an equally ambitious level for their sector. Today, the Department is welcoming the 23 newest partners to the Better Plants Program from all across the country, including leaders in industry such as General Mills, Comau Inc., General Sheet Metal Works, and Novelis.

All together, the Better Plants Partnership has grown to encompass more than 140 industrial companies, representing about 2,300 facilities and almost 11 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. By cutting energy waste in their factories, American manufacturers in the Better Plants Program have reported close to $1.7 billion in cumulative energy savings over the past four years.

— Source: U.S. Department of Energy