US Manufacturing Institutes Promote Clean, Renewable Energy

wind_farm_blade_234426_lAccording to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), approximately 10% of all U.S.-made energy in 2014 came from renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels. As the general public continues become more aware to the importance of using clean energy, experts say this number will likely increase in the years to come. This newfound interest of clean energy in the U.S. has spurred new job opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

One way in which the manufacturing industry is promoting clean energy is through President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). We’ve talked about this program before on our blog, but in case this is your first time hearing about it, let me explain: basically, NNMI aims to set up various manufacturing hubs throughout the country in which professors, researchers, public workers and government workers can share ideas to take U.S. manufacturing to the next level.

Among the new NNMI manufacturing hubs includes a bold new facility that’s designed strictly for smart manufacturing. A press release published by the Energy Department says this new smart manufacturing hub “aims to reduce the cost of deployment of advanced sensors, controls, information technology and advanced modeling and computation into the manufacturing sector by as much as 50 percent.” A cost reduction of 50% is a pretty bold statement to say the least, but it could revolutionize the energy industry, improving productivity across all manufacturing facilities while subsequently reducing the amount of power required for industries such as steel production.

North Carolina State University has launched a Power America campaign which is designed to advance a new generation of power electronics using wide-bandgap semiconductors. There are a total of 12 companies and seven universities collaborating on this campaign. Assuming it is successful, it will allow for the production of new semiconductors that are smaller, faster and use less energy than the semiconductors currently being sold on the market. There’s still no word yet on when this project will be completed, but the Energy Department mentioned it in its press release.

Last but not least, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation is collaborating with Detroit-based industries to develop new lightweight material for automobile manufacturing. This new institute has 86 private and public partners, as well as 36 consortium members, all of whom are working together to develop advanced materials for cars, trucks, SUVs and other consumer automobiles.

No tags for this post.