The United States has long been a global leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.1 The clean energy sector is expected to grow from its current level of $250 billion in private investment annually to an estimated $7 trillion by 2030. Manufacturing will be a cornerstone of this quickly maturing sector.2 In 2013, manufacturing represented a $2.08 trillion area of the U.S. economy—12.5 percent of gross domestic product—and accounted for 1 in 6 private sector jobs.3 Continued innovation has the potential to support future U.S. growth in international energy manufacturing industries as well as to bolster domestic business and create jobs. Government investment in public-private partnerships allows businesses, universities, and nongovernmental organizations to leverage national testing and production facilities and is critical to strengthening the country’s leadership in manufacturing. To compete in the rapidly expanding global clean energy sector, ongoing funding for research and technology development is necessary.
1 The Pew Charitable Trusts, “Advantage America: The U.S.-China Clean Energy Technology Trade Relationship in 2011” (March 2013), http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/peg/publications/report/USChinaReportFINALpdf.pdf.
2 Bloomberg New Energy Finance, “Spending on New Renewable Energy Capacity to Total $7 Trillion Over Next 20 Years,” Nov. 16, 2011, http://bnef.com/PressReleases/view/173.
3 National Association of Manufacturers, “Facts About Manufacturing in the United States” (2014), http://www.nam.org/Statistics-And-Data/Facts-About-Manufacturing/Landing.aspx.