WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2017 - In an effort to drive down the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste, the Energy Department (DOE) has announced the creation of its Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute.
REMADE, which is part of the Manufacturing USA initiative, aims to achieve a 50 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027.
Headquartered in Rochester, New York, and led by the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance, REMADE will leverage up to $70 million in federal funding, subject to appropriations. The funds will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from over 100 partners, DOE says.
Manufacturing accounts for nearly 25 percent of the nation’s total annual energy use, according to DOE. The physical products that are created as a result of manufacturing accounts for most of that energy, DOE says, and extracting raw materials like steel and aluminum for manufacturing is as energy intensive as the manufacturing process used to make products with these materials.
By enabling recycling and remanufacturing (the rebuilding of original products using a combination of reused or recycled parts) technologies, DOE says the institute will “dramatically reduce” life-cycle energy consumption for products and improve overall manufacturing efficiencies.
The research and deployment of cost-effective technologies reduce the energy used in materials production and could offer energy savings of up to 1.6 quadrillion British thermal units (BTU) annually in the U.S., DOE says.
That is more than the electricity, oil and other energy consumed by New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C., combined, the department says.
“The REMADE Institute is a key example of how public-private partnerships like Manufacturing USA are critical to advancing America’s low-carbon economy and strengthening manufacturing industries across the country,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says.
“This institute will be an important catalyst to leverage innovation and energy efficient technologies that will reduce harmful emissions while creating jobs and building America’s 21st century economy.”
Along with saving billions in energy costs, DOE says these efficiency measures will improve U.S. economic competitiveness through innovative new manufacturing techniques, expand small business opportunities and offer new training and jobs for American workers.
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