Market Report: Renewable Energy Attracting Government Dollars, Private Investment
The renewable energy industry is advancing across all sectors - wind, solar, biomass, hydropower - and garnering support from government programs and private business.
The potential benefits span the entire nation - with substantial biomass and municipal solid waste-to-energy projects in the Southeast; to the wide range of technologies in traditional Mid-Atlantic and Midwest manufacturing states; to the wind-rich Plains and Midwest states; to the West, where significant growth potential exists in harnessing solar, wind, and hydropower. Let's take a look at some of the places where this growth is occurring across the United States.
Solar: A Hot Topic
With many renewable energy projects, especially wind and solar, being outsourced to China, federal RES incentives are expected to not only keep jobs onshore, but also to encourage foreign investment in the United States.
In January 2011, President Obama signed a military authorization law that contains a "Buy American" provision for solar panels purchased by the Department of Defense. The New York Times noted that China has expanded to become the world's dominant producer of solar panels, accounting for at least half of the world's production last year, and this legislation is expected to encourage more domestic manufacturing.
German-based SolarWorld, which has received $82.2 million in renewable-energy manufacturing tax credits - the most for a solar manufacturer so far- lauded the new focus on domestically based solar energy. The firm, which operates a large production facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, recently celebrated the addition of its 1,000th worker in December 2010, the establishment of the equivalent of four factories, and the overhaul of its operations in Camarillo, California.
In February, Camarillo, California-based Power-One, Inc. - a manufacturer of devices that convert power produced from batteries and solar panels - opened a 122,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix, Arizona, which is expected to employ 350 people in the next five years, and could eventually employ 1,000 individuals. Richard Thompson, the firm's CEO and president, credited the state's "solar corridor" created by Governor Jan Brewer, as well as the potential collaboration on innovative technologies with Arizona State University, for attracting the factory, which will produce photovoltaic panels and wind inverters.
New Room for Vroom
Also in January, Vice President Joe Biden announced a new federal program to accelerate the wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles. During a tour of a Greenfield, Indiana factory run by Ener1 - a manufacturer of lithium-ion battery systems for electric vehicles, grid energy storage, and industrial electronics - the VP noted that the plan not only creates jobs, but also sparks "whole new industries that will ensure our competitiveness for years to come - like electric vehicle manufacturing."
Greek-Based Sunlight Batteries Eyes North American Assembly & Distribution Facility in Greensboro, North Carolina
Savoie’s Sausage and Food Products Eyes Production Complex in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
A Site Selector’s Checklist for Locating in the U.S.
Location USA 2019
Where to Invest in the Booming Aerospace Manufacturing Industry
2019 Auto/Aero Site Guide
What Should High-Growth Companies Look for in a Community?
The Trade War and Its Impact on the Location Decision Process
33rd Annual Corporate Survey & the 15th Annual Consultants Survey
A Changing Food Manufacturing Industry
2017 Food Processing