American Manufacturing is Meeting the Moment: AMMTO and IEDO Year in Review

Forward by Steve McKnight, Acting Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization Offices at EERE

The story of American manufacturing throughout history is one of radical innovation that has powered our economic growth and national security. It’s a story of how we moved from handmade products to factories, automated assembly lines, and the production of the highly integrated technologies we enjoy today. The story tells how ingenuity drove us into new eras, and how manufacturing has progressed to meet significant moments in time. Through periods of conflict, economic prosperity, and even global pandemics, American manufacturing consistently rises to meet the occasion. Today, our moment is marked by the extreme urgency of the global climate crisis. But if history is any indication, manufacturing and the broader industrial sector will meet this critical moment, and radical innovation will drive us toward a clean energy future for all Americans.

Indeed, our moment is here, and at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), we’re working hard to ensure that the manufacturing sector is poised to meet it. To get there, we’ll need to rapidly accelerate the domestic production of clean energy technologies and significantly reduce carbon emissions across the industrial sector. DOE’s new Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) and Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) are laser-focused on these goals – and we’re not alone in our efforts.

We have cultivated a strong network of partners us across industry, academia, National Labs, and other government agencies. We’ve also seen more federal investment in advanced manufacturing and industrial decarbonization than ever before. So much so that DOE has created two additional offices working alongside us to accelerate manufacturing innovation – the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) and the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC).

Before we dive headfirst into our goals for the new year, we hope you’ll join us for a quick look back on what AMMTO and IEDO accomplished with our partners in 2022.

Within the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office:

  • As part of a trailblazing DOE-wide supply chain analysis for the energy sector industrial base, AMMTO released three deep dive assessments exploring the challenges and opportunities to build U.S. supply chains for clean energy technologies, including rare earth magnets for electric vehicles and wind energy, energy efficient semiconductors and power electronics, and platinum group metal catalysts for fuel cells and water electrolysis. These reports will guide AMMTO’s future priorities and approach AMMTO to securing domestic manufacturing supply chains of critical minerals and materials we need for the clean energy future.
  • AMMTO continued progress toward the domestic, energy efficient manufacturing of semiconductors by holding a pledge signing event in September. During this event, AMMTO received commitment from over 20 companies and organizations to increase the energy efficiency of semiconductors by a factor of 1,000 over the next two decades. Inaugural signing partners of the EES2 initiative pledge include Intel, Microsoft, Micron, Synopsys, and AMD, in addition to the Semiconductor Research Corporation, Argonne National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. The EES2 pledge includes support for the creation of a Semiconductor EES2 Roadmap that will provide concrete metrics and recommendations to increase energy efficiency and position the United States as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation. This roadmap will build on the recommendations in DOE’s deep-dive assessment on America’s semiconductor supply chain.
  • Working together with the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) AMMTO launched a recent $12 million funding opportunity announcement to support the extraction and conversion of lithium from geothermal brines to use in batteries for stationary storage and electric vehicles. This investment will help advance and diversify the U.S. lithium supply chain, as geothermal brines are a cost effective, domestic source of lithium. AMMTO’s critical materials team looks forward to driving innovation in 2023 to support a strong, domestic supply chain for the key building blocks of clean energy technologies – from lithium used in EV batteries to the materials that makeup wind turbines and solar panels.
  • AMMTO’s entrepreneurial programs and workforce development activities advance novel manufacturing processes and diversify the workforce, while equipping current manufacturers with the training they need to deploy novel clean energy manufacturing tools. AMMTO’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program is making great strides in this area. This two-year fellowship program embeds early-stage startups at national labs to move promising clean energy technologies out the lab and onto the factory floor. To date, more than 100 startups through this program have received $584 million in public and private follow-on funding and created more than 600 jobs. AMMTO will continue to cultivate entrepreneurial ecosystems to help the future manufacturing workforce adopt innovative manufacturing materials, technologies, and processes.

Within the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office:

  • This year, IEDO led the release of DOE’s Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap. This report identifies four crucial pathways to reducing industrial emissions, including: energy efficiency; industrial electrification; low carbon fuels, feedstocks, and energy sources; and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. The roadmap also identified five industrial sectors where decarbonization efforts could have the greatest impact: chemical manufacturing, petroleum refining, iron and steel, food and beverage, and cement. Secretary Granholm and former White House climate advisor Gina McCarthy announced the roadmap at a roundtable with industry and community leaders. This roadmap aligns closely with IEDO’s long-term strategy and will help shape DOE’s approach to deep decarbonization across the industrial sector. In 2022, IEDO also released a $104 million Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization funding opportunity and launched the Industrial Technology Innovation Advisory Committee.
  • In September 2022, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced DOE’s latest Earthshot Initiative at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum. Pioneered by IEDO, the Industrial Heat Shot established the ambitious goal to develop cost-competitive solutions for industrial heat with at least 85% lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. In 2023, IEDO will align priorities and investments with the targets established in the Industrial Heat Shot.
  • This year, IEDO issued a $70 million funding opportunity announcement to establish DOE’s 7th Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute. This new coalition of industry, academia, and government partners will develop and scale technologies to electrify industrial process heating and reduce emissions across the industrial sector. This institute will harness the power of clean electricity to help industry achieve the goal established in DOE’s new Industrial Heat Shot. Selections for the funding opportunity are expected in March 2023.

 

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