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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering establishing a new industrial manufacturing institute to complement the six existing public-private research institutes that support research and facilitate technology development in key topic areas. ITIF strongly supports the creation of a new institute within the Advance Manufacturing Office that is focused on industrial decarbonization, particularly electrification of industrial processes and decarbonization of metal manufacturing. Industrial processes account for almost one-third of total U.S. energy consumption and 28 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even as U.S. share of global manufacturing activity from 28 percent in 2002 to 18 percent in 2016. To remain strong economically, the United States needs to rebuild its manufacturing sector and we must rebuild it in an innovative low-carbon way.
ITIF’s comments focus on two high-priority applied technology sub-sectors that we believe show the most promise for significant decarbonization and would benefit from the Institute’s focus. These are high-temperature electrification for industrial processes and hydrogen-DRI steel production. ITIF’s comments note that these two technology sub-sectors are critical to keeping the United States an industrial manufacturing leader while developing advanced low-carbon technologies that can competitively position the U.S. to lead in this field.