Manufacturing Climate Solutions

Manufacturing Climate Solutions presents new research on technologies that can protect the climate by reducing CO2 emissions. In this ongoing series, we ask, “What are the U.S. job opportunities in clean tech?” Technologies analyzed so far include:

The Solar Economy: Widespread Benefits for North Carolina

imageThe report describes a solar “value chain” of investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns, the report states. The economic impact of N.C.’s solar industry extends beyond its solar facilities, though.
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Smart Grid: Core Firms in the Research Triangle Region, NC

imageThe Research Triangle is a smart grid hotspot, with specialized R&D centers, supportive government policies, and roughly 60 core firms whose capabilities stretch across the entire value chain.
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U.S. Smart Grid: Finding New Ways to Cut Carbon and Create Jobs

imageTurning the electric power system into an "energy internet" can reduce CO2 emissions, stimulate technology innovation, expand the use of renewable energy, and create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.
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The Multiple Pathways to Industrial Energy Efficiency: A Systems and Value Chain Approach

imageIn most companies, significant opportunities exist to improve energy efficiency, and many of them pay for themselves. However, organizational and financial barriers often prevent companies from capturing these savings. Closing this “efficiency gap” can have a big payoff for companies and society as a whole. To better understand these barriers to efficiency and potential strategies to overcome them, the report examines why and how product manufacturers adopt energy-efficiency improvements in their internal operations and supply chains.
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Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles: The U.S. Value Chain

imageIn the global race to provide advanced lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, the United States is off to a fast start. We found 119 sites spread out across 27 states, all playing key roles across the value chain.
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Case Study: A123 Systems - Local Markets and Competitiveness, A Value Chain Analysis

imageAfter years of manufacturing in China, advanced battery maker A123 Systems is also aggressively adding jobs in the United States, responding to federal incentives and a promising U.S. market for electric vehicle batteries.
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Case Study: Cree, Inc. - Local Markets and Global Competitiveness, A Value Chain Analysis

imageCree is adding jobs in the United States, but also in China--where the main attraction is not low-cost labor, but rather a large market for LED lighting products.
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U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles for Intercity Passenger Rail and Urban Transit

imageThe United States seems poised to ramp up its investments in passenger and transit rail. Will the required rail vehicles and components be manufactured in the United States? We map out 249 U.S. manufacturing locations, describe the current value chain, identify gaps in domestic capabilities, and note priorities for the future of the industry.
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Public Transit Buses: Chapter 12

imageBuses represent 25,000 to 33,000 domestic jobs, many overlapping with the heavy truck industry. U.S. firms are leading the development of hybrid, all-electric and other "green" buses--the future of the industry.
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Wind Power: Chapter 11

imageU.S. employment in wind power is estimated at 85,000 jobs and growing quickly, with opportunities to employ workers and capacity from other industries like automotive and aerospace.
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Residential Re-Insulation: Chapter 10

imageWith 46 million underinsulated homes in the United States, an expanding re-insulation market could save energy and create U.S. jobs for contractors, insulation installers, distributors, manufacturers, and material suppliers. This report is part of the Manufacturing Climate Solutions series.Posted: August 6, 2009.
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Hybrid Drivetrains for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks: Chapter 9

imageThe United States is well positioned to take the lead in hybrid commercial trucks, a new, fast- growing market that promises future U.S. jobs in truck manufacturing, advanced energy storage, electronics, and software. This report is part of the Manufacturing Climate Solutions series.
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Carbon Capture and Storage: Chapter 8

imageChapter 8 of the Manufacturing Climate Solutions report focuses on carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies. These technologies will allow the U.S. to continue using fossil fuel for power generation while also achieving national goals to reduce CO2 emissions. These billion dollar projects also present huge U.S.-based employment opportunities in fields ranging from R&D to manufacturing and construction.
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Recycling Industrial Waste Energy: Chapter 7

imageMany industrial processes discard exhaust heat, combustible gases, and other "waste" energy. These highly recoverable resources can be harnessed to generate electricity, thus saving energy costs, reducing CO2 emissions, creating new jobs, and protecting existing jobs by increasing productivity and competitiveness.
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Heat Pump Water Heaters: Chapter 6

imageCurrent residential heat pump water heater products are add-on units used in conjunction with conventional storage tanks and they are produced by a handful of very small U.S. companies. The recent introduction of ENERGY STAR water heater criteria appears to be incentivizing some larger appliance manufacturers to develop new heat pump water heater products that will be more widely available. If consumer interest in heat pump water heaters increases, the market would need to scale up significantly to meet greater demands, opening greater opportunities for U.S. component manufacturing in the value chain.
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Manufacturing Climate Solutions: Carbon-Reducing Technologies and U.S. Jobs (Chapters 1-5)

imageThe Manufacturing Climate Solutions report series looks at the linkages between low-carbon technologies and U.S. jobs. In this initial report released in November 2008, Chapters 1-5 look at five technologies: LED lighting, high-performance windows, auxiliary power units for trucks, concentrating solar power, and Super Soil Systems.
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Super Soil Systems: Chapter 5

imageSuper Soil is not yet commercially available, but it is an example of a technology that could potentially be widely adopted. The adoption of this or similar technologies would involve manufacturing jobs producing large tanks. Additional manufacturing jobs would be needed to make the equipment, along with the associated requirements for steel, glass, concrete, and other materials, and construction jobs to build the facility. This new technology for treating hog waste could allow the United States to become a global market leader in a sector where, until now, no adequate alternative has been available.
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Concentrating Solar Power: Chapter 4

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Auxiliary Power Units for Trucks: Chapter 3

imageIntegration of auxiliary power units into long-haul truck manufacturing in the near future will likely increase penetration rates dramatically, with a corresponding boost to manufacturing. Expanded production of APUs would create economic opportunity at all stages of the value chain by increasing purchases from material and component suppliers. Additional value chain opportunities will likely come when APU technology is integrated as a component in tractor manufacturing rather than being an aftermarket product.
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High-Performance Windows: Chapter 2

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We use a value chain lens to present the technology, break it down into its main materials and components, identify companies and their locations, and give examples of the associated jobs. We believe this series is a useful starting point to explore opportunities for U.S. job growth and technology leadership in the new, carbon-constrained global economy.

The Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness prepared the 2008 report for five sponsors: Environmental Defense Fund, the Building and Construction Trades Department (AFL-CIO), Industrial Union Council (AFL-CIO), International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.

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*The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of our sponsors or collaborators.