AMO: America’s Supply Chains and Our Clean Energy Story

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When we tell the story of our clean energy future, technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles take center stage. These technologies will be crucial to producing 100% clean electricity by 2035 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. But to tell the full story, it’s important to go back to where it all begins – within America’s manufacturing sector and the supply chains that support it. 

U.S. manufacturing is the heartbeat of our nation’s clean energy future. It pumps life into our economy, creating thousands of jobs while moving materials through intricate supply chains to manufacture clean energy technologies.  

To achieve a clean energy future that is made in America, we must strengthen and secure these domestic manufacturing supply chains. As part of a DOE-wide supply chain analysis for the energy sector industrial base for Executive Order 14017, “America’s Supply Chains,” the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) released three deep dive assessments. These assessments explore challenges and opportunities to build U.S. supply chains for clean energy technologies, including rare earth magnets for electric vehicles and wind energy, energy efficient semiconductors and power electronics, and platinum group metal catalysts for fuel cells and water electrolysis. 

AMO remains committed to establishing domestic capacity for these important components. Through the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), an Energy innovation hub supported by AMO and led by Ames National Laboratory, AMO is fostering public-private partnerships to eliminate and reduce international reliance on rare earth metals and other materials critical to the success of clean energy technologies. 

CMI scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory recently developed a novel technology to cost-effectively separate rare-earth elements – a critical step in the rare earth magnet supply chain that currently occurs overseas. In a broader sense, CMI continues to create innovative solutions to supply chain challenges through their cutting-edge research, which has garnered six R&D 100 Awards since the hub’s creation in 2013. Their most recent award was for innovative development of Samarium Cobalt magnets. 

Link to the complete story: America’s Supply Chains and Our Clean Energy Story, https://www.energy.gov/eere/amo/articles/americas-supply-chains-and-our-clean-energy-story