Renewable Energy Coming of Age - Part IV

Job Creation

Job creation in the United States won’t be limited to only new companies formed around emerging renewable energy technologies. In fact, many new jobs will come from existing companies who adapt existing skill-sets to the needs of energy markets. A good example is Ramco Electric Motors of Dayton, Ohio. Typical of existing companies entering renewable energy manufacturing today, Ramco aligns their ability to produce high quality generators for the aerospace industry with the wind industry’s similar reality that generators high in the air are not easily serviced.
Even automotive suppliers are getting in the game.  In September of 2009, Livonia, Michigan-based Tower Automotive announced it was undertaking a strategic diversification to supply components for renewable energy systems. In the 2009 announcement Tower reported it was supplying polished mirrors for use in concentrated solar power systems (CSP). Tower, the maker of body parts and other automotive components, decided to diversify after its orders from automakers dropped during the downturn.

Manufacturing Location Selection

With the coming maturity of renewable energy and the new energy economy we can expect significant manufacturing job creation. Wind and solar systems, smart grid and energy efficient devices, and green building systems will be among the products that find a large global market. 
 
As these industrial sectors mature, manufacturers will be increasingly attracted to locations that support an efficient supply chain. Factors that will drive location selection for new energy economy operations will include proximity to growing markets for renewable energy products, areas adopting smart grid technologies, and communities with training programs and incentives aligned with these new technologies. 
 
The world has its eyes on the U.S. market for renewable energy products. How many of these products are eventually manufactured in the U.S. remains to be seen.