Energy Innovation Clusters and their Influence on Manufacturing: A Case Study Perspective

Jill Engel-Cox, Derek Hill

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Innovation clusters have been important for recent development of clean energy technologies and their emergence as mature, globally competitive industries. However, the factors that influence the co-location of manufacturing activities with innovation clusters are less clear. A central question for government agencies seeking to grow manufacturing as part of economic development in their location is how innovation clusters influence manufacturing. Thus, this paper examines case studies of innovation clusters for three different clean energy technologies that have developed in at least two locations: solar PV clusters in California and the province of Jiangsu in China, wind turbine clusters in Germany and the U.S. Great Lakes region, and ethanol clusters in the U.S. Midwest and the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil. These case studies provide initial insight into factors and conditions that contribute to technology manufacturing facility location decisions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A50-68146


  • case studies
  • clean energy technologies
  • ethanol clusters
  • innovation clusters
  • location
  • manufacturing
  • solar
  • wind


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