DOE Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Strategy to Secure U.S. Clean Energy Supply Chain

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The demand for clean energy technologies such as wind turbines and batteries for electric vehicles has increased dramatically as the costs of the technology have fallen over the past decade. The global clean energy market is expected to grow exponentially, reaching at least $23 trillion by 2030.

Without new domestic raw material production and manufacturing capabilities, the United States will continue to depend on clean energy imports, exposing the country to supply chain vulnerabilities while simultaneously losing the huge job opportunities associated with the energy transition. Yet, in many cases, the United States has untapped potential to support greater domestic production.

Recent shortages of foreign-made automotive semiconductor chips due to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced slowdowns at American car manufacturing plants, underscoring how shortages can hurt American workers. The strategies and actions included in this report will ensure that the United States has the ability to respond quickly to challenges such as global production shortages, trade disruptions, and natural disasters – and strengthen a national supply chain. into clean energy that leads the world. economy.

The US Strategy for Securing the Supply Chain for a Robust Transition to Clean Energyprovides seven key areas to build supply chain resilience and rebuild American manufacturing:

  • Increase the availability of critical materials – Critical minerals, such as cobalt for batteries and rare earth elements like neodymium for offshore wind, are key components of the clean energy technology we need to meet our national climate and economic goals .
  • Develop domestic manufacturing capabilities – America’s manufacturing capabilities can be strengthened through efforts such as increased funding for workforce development, investments in manufacturing programs to support the clean energy transition and coordination with manufacturers and state, local and tribal governments to support the establishment of regional clean energy industrial clusters.
  • Invest in and support the formation of diverse, reliable and socially responsible foreign supply chains – This will complement national opportunities to diversify clean energy supply chains, such as promoting the adoption and implementation of traceability standards to improve global supply chain mapping capabilities. These actions will help instill integrity in product custody and support the carbon footprint of energy supply chains, as well as build on current efforts to support investments in supply chain security. US supply, such as the investment in a graphite mine in Mozambique, a key mineral for lithium. manufacture of ion batteries.
  • Increase adoption and deployment of clean energy – By leveraging federal purchasing power, we can provide a sustained demand signal for domestic clean energy products and the ability to manufacture them in the United States, advancing business to grow and sustain the demand signal for clean energy products. sustainable transportation fuels and associated supply chain industries.
  • Improve end-of-life energy waste management – This includes advancing technologies to recycle and recover valuable materials like batteries, aluminum and steel that can continue to power national clean energy supply chains safely and efficiently.
  • Attracting and supporting a skilled workforce for the clean energy transition – By working across government to embed strong labor standards and organized labor support into federal funding for the industrial base of the energy sector, and engaging key stakeholders, we can set plans nationwide strategies to encourage the creation of quality, family-supporting, unionized jobs. competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Improve supply chain knowledge and decision making – Develop supporting studies that assess and quantify the economic, environmental, social and human rights impacts of different aspects of the energy supply chain for all clean technologies, and the creation and maintenance of a manufacturing and energy supply chain office as well as database and analytical modeling capabilities, will help ensure that supply chain policy and investment decisions are based on an understanding of critical factors such as risks, dependencies, material availability, and supply chain and market dynamics.

The DOE has already made great strides in addressing supply chain vulnerabilities and is taking significant steps to further secure our energy supply chains. Ongoing efforts include:

  • Mining Innovations for Negative Emissions Resources (MINER) Program: Today, the DOE released a $44 million funding opportunity for the MINER program that will deliver commercial-ready technologies that will give the United States a pathway to net zero or net negative emissions towards increased domestic supplies of copper, nickel, lithium, cobalt, rare earths and other critical elements needed for a clean energy transition.
  • New Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains: DOE is creating a new Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains that will focus on strengthening and securing the energy supply chains needed to modernize infrastructure energy of the country and support the transition to clean energy. This office will work with private sector companies, other federal agencies, and key stakeholders to collect, analyze, respond to, and share data on energy supply chains to inform decision-making and future investments.
  • Rare Earth Element Facility: The DOE issued an RFI for the $140 million bipartisan Infrastructure Act allocation for the design, construction, and construction of a facility to demonstrate commercial feasibility of a large-scale integrated facility of rare earth elements for extraction, separation and refining. This first-of-its-kind facility will accelerate US-made rare earth element processing technologies that will drive domestic manufacturing of essential rare earth metals for the clean energy and national defense industries.
  • Clean Hydrogen Centers: The DOE issued a request for information for the $8 billion allocated by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to establish at least four regional clean hydrogen centers to serve as a network of clean hydrogen producers. clean hydrogen, potential clean hydrogen consumers and connection infrastructure.
  • High-Capacity Batteries: Building on the DOE’s 100-Day High-Capacity Battery Supply Chain Report released last spring, Congress included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill more than $6 billion in dollars to fund the processing, manufacturing and recycling of domestic battery materials that will help improve grid resilience and scale up electrification of cars, trucks and buses. These grants, starting with two just-released NOIs for funding worth nearly $3 billion, will allow companies to expand and build new US factories that offer opportunities for quality employment in the regions of the country.

Critical Minerals and National Defense Stockpile: The Departments of Energy, Defense, and State signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) that lays the foundation for a stockpile of critical minerals to support states’ transition united towards clean energy and national security needs. MOA is formalizing an inter-agency partnership to acquire and recycle selected materials for technologies ranging from grid-scale batteries to wind turbines.

The US Strategy for Securing the Supply Chain for a Robust Transition to Clean Energynot only represents dozens of specific actions that the DOE is taking or committing to take, but it details a whole-of-government approach to the nation’s energy supply chain challenges and opportunities. Strategies outlined in the report feature interagency collaboration on efforts such as small business lending, foreign investment in U.S. manufacturing, community engagement in the extraction of critical minerals, and port infrastructure to manage the shipment of energy products.

The report also includes more than 20 recommendations for congressional action related to the energy supply chain, such as:

  • Pass legislation to provide tax incentives to support the manufacture and deployment of domestic clean energy, including incentives for the construction of new facilities and for the continued operation of those facilities.
  • Appropriate funding to DOE to utilize Title III of the Defense Production Act in partnership with the President.
  • Appropriate funds to establish regional and state sector partnerships and recorded apprenticeships to recruit, train and place workers in the careers needed for national supply chains.

To learn more about “The US Strategy for Securing the Supply Chain for a Robust Transition to Clean Energysee the fact sheet or visit www.energy.gov/policy/supplychains to download the full report or read the other 13 in-depth assessments that are part of the DOE’s response to the Supply Chain Executive Order .

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