Clean Energy Manufacturing: Renewable Energy Technology Benchmarks

Debra Sandor, David Keyser, Margaret Mann, Jill Engel-Cox, Samantha Reese, Kelsey Horowitz, Eric Lantz, Jon Weers, Billy Roberts, Stacy Buchanan, Brian Walker, Robert Dixon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The manufacturing of clean energy technologies has become a global enterprise. An analysis of four clean energy technology manufacturing processes—wind turbine components, crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic modules, light-duty vehicle lithium-ion battery cells, and light-emitting diodes—was conducted to provide a reference point for comparison over time as this sector evolves. The manufacturing supply chain analysis included processing of raw materials, making required subcomponents, and assembling final products, using benchmarks that crossed 12 economies: Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Republic of China (Taiwan), the United Kingdom, and the United States. Larger economies, with extensive manufacturing supply chains and high prevailing wages, tend to retain more value added from clean energy manufacturing than small economies. Manufacturing of clean energy technologies drives extensive trade among economies to support the widely distributed supply chain links. Production of wind turbine components and photovoltaic modules is more centralized than production of light-emitting diodes and lithium-ion battery cells. Across the four clean energy technologies evaluated, there was generally an excess of manufacturing capacity relative to global supply.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAccelerating the Transition to a 100% Renewable Energy Era
Subtitle of host publicationLecture Notes in Energy, Volume 74
EditorsT. S. Uyar
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Energy
ISSN (Print)2195-1284
ISSN (Electronic)2195-1292

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-6A20-77320


  • Benchmarks
  • Clean energy manufacturing
  • Energy efficiency
  • Global trade
  • Renewable energy


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