Over 70 percent of all component parts for installed clean and efficient energy systems in this country are currently imported—many from countries with higher labor costs and environmental standards than ours. Germany, Spain, Japan, and China have each made a concerted effort to invest not only in clean-energy technologies, but in clean-energy manufacturing infrastructure, as well.
The United States must expand its clean-energy policy vision to support the small and midsize component manufacturers that are willing and able to become suppliers of clean and efficient products, but that need up-front capital to retool or expand their facilities. Without these investments, we run the risk of trading our dependency on foreign oil and pollution-based energy for a dependency on imported clean-energy components and systems—and being left behind in the new global race to build and export high-quality, low-carbon technologies.
- In the Senate, the American Clean Energy Leadership Act includes provisions on industrial efficiency, and the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology, or the IMPACT Act, currently before the Commerce committee would provide low-cost loans to help manufacturers retool to produce clean-energy technologies.
- Provisions similar to those in the IMPACT Act were incorporated into the House ACES bill as the Clean Energy Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund Program and the Clean Energy and Efficiency Manufacturing Partnerships.
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