Many of the policies that are good for the development of clean energy also provide support for advanced manufacturing. Building out a stronger manufacturing ecosystem, continued investment in innovation, and near term investment in workforce retooling coupled with long term investment in STEM education are all critical for both clean energy and advanced manufacturing. Our colleagues at the Brookings Institution have called for a designation of 20 colleges as ‘manufacturing universities,’ allowing them access to federal grants specifically geared towards manufacturing engineering. Similarly, smart energy policy that includes a federal Clean Energy Standard or a carbon tax would also significantly boost advanced manufacturing and 21st century jobs growth. At the end of the day, policies like these may be oriented towards clean energy and advanced manufacturing, but they’re also critical for job creation, American competitiveness, and workforce development – an important factor in this conversation that is often overlooked.
A new method of manufacturing wind turbine blades, used in the capturing of energy that produces power, is expected to enable the construction of much larger wind turbines with higher efficiency and lower costs. The Advanced Research Project Agency — Energy, an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, is funding the $3.7 million project proposed by GE that has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with Virginia Tech’s William Devenport, professor of aerospace and ocean engineering, and Aurelien Borgoltz, research scientist.
Andy Holt, general manager of wind services for GE’s renewable energy source, addressed employees and visitors during a celebration to mark two company events — the anniversary of its logistics center in Olive Branch and more than two years without a lost time, work-related injury. During its first year, the Olive Branch facility has achieved a 99.9 percent inventory accuracy, quality and performance rating. The center distributes replacement wind turbine parts and solar components globally.
General Electric this year will set a company record for wind capacity installations in the US, breaking its previous high of 3.99GW in 2009, the most for any turbine vendor there in a calendar year, Matt Guyette, general manager strategy and market development at GE Wind and Solar, tells Recharge.
But because the development of the modern electric car is still in its infancy, automakers are still struggling to predict how long an electric car battery pack will last in the real-world, putting many consumers off buying an electric car just yet. Which is why GE, along with Ford and the University of Michigan, is working on a system which will ultimately help automakers improve real-time battery analysis and lifespan predictions for plug-in cars.
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