Solar

Dow Corning CEO calls for green manufacturing growth now

The right mix of private investment, government support, and entrepreneurial spirit can revitalize our manufacturing sector. We need to make this commitment now, or the net long-term effect will be the export of jobs today and the import of foreign-made solar panels tomorrow, said Dr. Stephanie A. Burns, chairman, president and CEO of Dow Corning Corporation. Read her comments to the International District Export Council Conference.

(November 2, 2010) — Immediate, decisive investments in the green manufacturing sector can help boost America’s exports, lower the trade deficit, create jobs and increase its competitiveness in a dynamic world marketplace, according to Dr. Stephanie A. Burns, chairman, president and CEO of Dow Corning Corporation. Burns serves on the President’s Export Council, a public-private sector advisory committee that advises the President on international trade strategies.

“I’m convinced that green jobs, particularly green manufacturing jobs, can be a major factor in our nation’s economic recovery,” she said. “I believe that with the right mix of private investment, government support, and entrepreneurial spirit, we can revitalize the heart of our nation’s economy: our manufacturing sector. We need to make this commitment now, or the net long-term effect will be the export of jobs today and the import of foreign-made solar panels tomorrow.”

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Burns made her remarks during a keynote address at the 2010 International District Export Council Conference in Michigan.

“We need the policies in place for renewables manufacturing to flourish here — in order to have the opportunities for export,” she said. “Other nations have adopted aggressive policies to support the growth of their renewable-energy manufacturing base, but companies that hope to manufacture in the U.S. are faced with discouraging barriers. It is time for America to put into place incentives to attract this growing sector.  There is an immediate need for strategic, short-term, demand-side incentives that will pave the way for solar power growth, solar industry jobs and an export market in the United States.”

Burns also discussed Dow Corning’s proposed four-point plan to grow the domestic solar industry, which she said addresses many of the manufacturing, legislative, regulatory and workforce-related factors that influence America’s ability to develop a thriving, domestic industry that will increase exports:

  • Establish legislative and regulatory policies to encourage rapid growth of a viable renewable energy industry and encourage consumer adoption;
  • Increase investments in research and development to support innovation in solar energy technologies;
  • Invest in renewable energy-related education, training and job creation; and
  • Lead by example in the implementation of clean technologies.

Dow Corning provides silicon-based solutions throughout the entire photovoltaic value chain. Over the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint ventures at the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced approximately $5 billion of U.S. investment of to research, develop and expand production of materials critical to the global solar industry. Learn more at www.dowcorning.com