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New Energy manufacturing can make the Midwest once again mighty

There is a very good chance federal funds are available for Jack to grow his beanstalk if he can show it will create jobs in the beanstalk growing industry. That Princess bothered so much by the pea can likely qualify for federal funding by creating a mattress testing business. And Ali Baba is a sure bet for one of the federal grant programs; he not only has 40 thieves’ jobs to protect, he can start a training program for cave openers, teaching the “Open Sesame” method.

There are also tales of opportunity for the Heartlands’ industrial sector in the imminent transition to a New Energy economy. Can it revive the rusting Midwest manufacturing industries? The Obama administration is betting billions the answer is yes. As American Innovation: Manufacturing Low Carbon Technologies in the Midwest makes clear, the Obama folks are not putting taxpayer money into a fairy tale: The coming shift to New Energy will bring costs and benefits and the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

Yes, there will be higher energy and resource costs that will make for higher production costs that could diminish consumption and move manufacturing facilities and jobs offshore.

The numbers show there will, on the other hand, be billions of dollars worth of opportunities to invent and manufacture New Energy and Energy Efficiency technologies, bringing hundreds of thousands of new jobs, not only in meeting the demand from growing domestic markets but in meeting the demand from incipient international markets as well. ::continue::

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New and reliable data is emerging, clarifying impacts on industries and regions. Studies from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Pew Center on Climate Change, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank and many other sources show that climate change-fighting policies drive business growth and generate wealth.

American Innovation is an in-depth profile of what can be reaped in wind turbine component, hybrid powertrain, and advanced battery manufacturing in the Midwest either with or without 3 key supportive policies: (1) a federal stimulus package of grants, loan guarantees and subsidies aimed at sustaining the financing for New Energy and Energy Efficiency, (2) a climate law that results in a $17 per ton price on GhGs, and (3) a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that requires regulated U.S. utilities to obtain 20% of their power from New Energy sources (though 5% can be met by Energy Efficiency) by 2020.

In it, The Climate Group and The University of Michigan found that the potential for growth in low carbon manufacturing sectors in the Midwest is “significant.” If sought-after climate and energy policies are achieved, they will expand market revenues in just the 3 studied New Energy technology markets (wind turbine components, hybrid powertrains and advanced batteries) to ~$12.3 billion, add tax revenues in the Midwestern states studied (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin) of ~$812million and create as many as 104,640 new jobs by 2015.

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This post is based on American Innovation: Manufacturing Low Carbon Technologies in the Midwest, January 2010, The Climate Group

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