Washington, D.C. — With the federal government poised to make historic investments in clean technology to fight climate change, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress says the push for rapid growth in renewable energy should focus on U.S. suppliers to meet this rising demand.
If U.S. manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, and utility-scale batteries—as well as the steel and aluminum used to produce them—are not able to secure a favored place in those supply chains, their commercial outlook could be substantially impaired, the analysis argues. This means that the renewables industry could follow the path of semiconductors and consumer electronics, in which the engineering and design occur in the United States but most production occurs overseas with foreign components.
“Renewable energy supply chains should be manufactured domestically to secure good jobs, meet the country’s climate goals, and help ensure national and economic security,” said Mike Williams, a senior fellow on the Energy and Environment team at CAP and co-author of the issue brief.
The authors argue that keeping manufacturing supply chains in the United States will create jobs, contribute to a revitalized middle class, and help meet the country’s climate and environmental justice goals. Additionally, there is a compelling argument for treating resilient renewable energy supply chains as a critical national security issue.
“The next decade will be a critical window for American industry to support a massive expansion in U.S. renewable infrastructure—one we’re not likely to see again,” said Trevor Sutton, a senior fellow for National Security and International Policy at CAP and co-author of the brief.
When public funds are used to support an industry, that money should be prioritized for the public good. Good jobs, a clean environment, and energy and national security meet the vision laid out in President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
Read the issue brief: “The Next Decade of Clean Energy in the U.S.: Utilizing Domestic Content to Build a Supply Chain” by Mike Williams and Trevor Sutton
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