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 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 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 at 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.”
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, click here.
News item from ACORE