Clean Energy Manufacturing: Renewable Energy Technology Benchmarks

Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 74)


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.


Clean energy manufacturing Renewable energy Energy efficiency Global trade Benchmarks 



We thank Ed Balistreri, Rebecca Hill, Donald Chung, Chris Scarlata, Chris Mone, Tian Tian, and Scott Gossett for their contributions to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Renewable Energy LaboratoryGoldenUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Department of EnergyWashingtonUSA

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