A Roadmap to Diversify the U.S. Renewable Energy and Battery Storage Supply Chains – EQ Mag
ACORE, BW Research Release New Report Assessing Opportunities for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses in Utility-Scale Wind, Solar, and Battery Storage Manufacturing
WASHINGTON, D.C. : As the U.S. renewable energy economy expands, intentional commitments for equitable economic and workforce development will be critical to achieving the nation’s just transition objectives and building a diverse domestic manufacturing supply chain. A report released today by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and BW Research Partnership identifies existing minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) within the utility-scale wind, solar, and battery storage manufacturing supply chains; assesses existing supplier selection practices; and highlights opportunities to foster the growth of MWBEs and improve sector diversity.
“Thanks to the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, we can develop an enhanced domestic clean energy manufacturing base and do it in a way that meaningfully advances the renewable industry’s diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities,” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. “While diversifying our supply chains will require bold investment and support, we offer a roadmap in this report that includes a multi-pronged strategy across government policies and private-sector practices.”
The new report, Opportunities to Diversify the U.S. Renewable Energy Manufacturing Supply Chain, outlines three sets of opportunities to enhance supply chain diversity in the renewable energy and battery storage sectors:
Increasing the number and size of MWBEs in the industry to ensure there are adequate suppliers for downstream purchasers
Connecting MWBE suppliers to downstream purchasers in the renewable and battery storage sectors
Addressing market challenges by providing key support for MWBEs already in the supply chain
“As the United States accelerates decarbonizing its economy, building strong domestic supply chains for clean energy technologies has become a key priority,” said Philip Jordan, Vice President of BW Research Partnership. “It is critical that new investments to expand local manufacturing are accessible to communities that have typically been left behind to ensure equal access to the emerging opportunities.”
“As the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, we acknowledge the important need to expand inclusion of Black, Latino, Native and communities of color in the clean energy workforce and actively advocate for the success of businesses owned and operated by women and people of color throughout the supply chain, said Blair Anderson, Director of Public Policy, AWS.” This report highlights important steps to address several barriers to entry for businesses owned and operated by women and people of color and AWS will continue to support ACORE programs like Accelerate to address these recommendations.”
“It is vitally important we create a more inclusive and equitable economy to ensure the U.S. remains competitive and resilient both at home and on the world stage,” said National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) CEO and President Ying McGuire. “This report reflects that reality and NMSDC looks forward to helping ensure minority business enterprises play a central role in building the sustainable and secure energy infrastructure needed for the future success of our country.”
ACORE will continue to work with policymakers, utility-scale developers and MWBEs to realize the report’s recommendations. To download a copy of Opportunities to Diversify the U.S. Renewable Energy Manufacturing Supply Chain.
For more than 20 years, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has been the nation’s premier pan-renewable nonprofit organization. ACORE unites finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy.
About BW Research:
BW Research is a full-service research consulting firm specializing in workforce and economic development, with a particular focus on clean energy and decarbonization. It has a staff of 15 with offices in Carlsbad, California, and Wrentham, Massachusetts. Clients include public entities such as workforce investment boards, economic development agencies, cities, counties, and educational institutions that are looking for answers to empower effective decision making, as well as entities such as non-profits and advocacy groups, foundations and clean energy developers. BW Research provides services utilizing secondary research, qualitative research (e.g., focus groups, stakeholder interviews, ethnographies), and quantitative research (e.g., telephone, mail, web surveys) techniques and facilitating client engagements and strategy development.