Research Reports

Energy & Infrastructure

Overcapacity in Steel: China’s Role in a Global Problem

September 2016   |   Durham, NC   |   Lukas Brun
The global steel sector is once again in a state of overcapacity. The sector, predominantly fueled by China’s expansion since 2000, has grown to over 2,300 million metric tons (MT) while only needing 1,500 MT to meet global demand. The result is a global steel sector at unviable profit levels and an influx of cheap steel in the global trading system adversely affecting companies, workers, and the global trading regime. This report was prepared for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM).
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Targeting Inclusive Development: A Value Chain Approach to Sewer Infrastructure Investment

April 2015   |   Durham, NC   |   Jack Daly, Lukas Brun, Andrew Guinn
This report by Duke CGGC was sponsored by the Surdna Foundation to investigate how six local governments within the United States (Cleveland, OH; Louisville, KY; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA) investing in water infrastructure have successfully incorporated targeted businesses in capital improvements, while also identifying which segments of the value chain have the highest levels of opportunity for these businesses.
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The Solar Economy: Widespread Benefits for North Carolina

February 2015   |   Durham, NC   |   Lukas Brun, Danny Hamrick, Jack Daly
This report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) describes a solar “value chain” of investors, solar developers, construction contractors and solar panel and component manufacturers comprising more than 450 companies. Together, these companies support some 4,300 jobs and represent a $2 billion investment. In addition to jobs, solar industry-related businesses provide income for landowners and tax revenue for N.C. towns, the report states.
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Infrastructure Investment Creates American Jobs

October 2014   |   Durham, NC   |   Lukas Brun, Jason Jolley, Andrew Hull, Stacey Frederick
Duke CGGC researchers explored the current state of transportation infrastructure and the economic impact of additional investment in renewing infrastructure in the United States for the Alliance of America Manufacturing (AAM). They found that the U.S. ranks 16th overall in transportation infrastructure and that each dollar of investment returns 3.54 in economic activity, creating 21,671 jobs for each $1 billion invested in transportation infrastructure.
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US Coal and the Technology Innovation Frontier: What role does coal play in our energy future?

March 2013   |   Durham, NC   |   Ghada Ahmed, Ajmal Abdulsamad, Gary Gereffi
The U.S. coal industry is coping with declining consumption as the nation burns less coal to generate electricity. The electric power sector drives coal demand and consumes over 90% of coal production. The coal industry is facing a number of challenges that include increasing production costs and competition from natural gas in the electric power market. The decreasing share of coal in power generation implies that the future of coal depends on technologies that change the way we manage and use coal such as carbon capture and utilization, coal gasification and coal liquefaction technologies.
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U.S. Bus Rapid Transit

July 2012   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Monica La
As more U.S. cities consider adopting Bus Rapid Transit, CGGC researchers offer a new online tool to help decision-makers understand the value chain. A new report, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, with interactive database analyzes the value chain of 390 firms that provide vehicles, technology, and services for high-quality BRT. Links below are provided to the final report, the interactive database, and proceedings of a working meeting convened by CGGC on March 8, 2012 with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.
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Smart Grid: Core Firms in the Research Triangle Region, NC

May 2011   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Hua Fan, Gary Gereffi
The Research Triangle is a smart grid hotspot, with specialized R&D centers, supportive government policies, and roughly 60 core firms whose capabilities stretch across the entire value chain. Research for this report was funded by NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues faculty fellows program, and prepared for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.
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U.S. Smart Grid: Finding New Ways to Cut Carbon and Create Jobs

April 2011   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Hua Fan, Gary Gereffi
Turning the electric power system into an "energy internet" can reduce CO2 emissions, stimulate technology innovation, expand the use of renewable energy, and create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.
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The Multiple Pathways to Industrial Energy Efficiency: A Systems and Value Chain Approach

February 2011   |   Durham, NC   |   Lukas Brun, Gary Gereffi
In most companies, significant opportunities exist to improve energy efficiency, and many of them pay for themselves. However, organizational and financial barriers often prevent companies from capturing these savings. Closing this “efficiency gap” can have a big payoff for companies and society as a whole. To understand these barriers and identify strategies to overcome them, the report examines why and how product manufacturers adopt energy-efficiency improvements in their internal operations and supply chains. This report was sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Energy Program.
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Lithium-ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles: The U.S. Value Chain

October 2010   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Saori Tokuoka, Tali Trigg, Gary Gereffi
U.S. firms are racing against more established Asian firms to build a supply chain for the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles. What's at stake is not just the batteries, but the U.S. position in the future auto industry.This report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), found 119 sites spread out across 27 states, that are all playing key roles across the value chain.
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Case Study: A123 Systems - Local Markets and Competitiveness, A Value Chain Analysis

October 2010   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Tali Trigg, Marcy Lowe
After years of manufacturing in China, advanced battery maker A123 Systems is also aggressively adding jobs in the United States, responding to federal incentives and a promising U.S. market for electric vehicle batteries. This case study was prepared for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Case Study: Cree, Inc. Local Markets and Global Competitiveness: A Value Chain Analysis

October 2010   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Ghada Ahmed, Marcy Lowe
Cree is adding jobs in the United States, but also in China--where the main attraction is not low-cost labor, but rather a large market for LED lighting products. This was a case study prepared by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles for Intercity Passenger Rail and Urban Transit: : A Value Chain Analysis

June 2010   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Saori Tokuoka, Kristen Dubay, Gary Gereffi
This research was prepared by Duke CGGC on behalf of the Apollo Alliance with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and Surdna Foundation to help inform the Apollo Alliance's Transportation Manufacturing Action Plan by mapping out the U.S. value chain for manufacturing rail cars and parts for passenger trains. The report identifies a healthy domestic supply base of 249 U.S. manufacturing locations across 35 states, but also identifies gaps in domestic capabilities and areas in which U.S.-based firms should pursue higher-value activities such as design, engineering and systems integration.
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U.S. Adoption of High-Efficiency Motors and Drives: Lessons Learned

February 2010   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Ruggero Golini, Gary Gereffi
Motor systems used by manufacturing industries play a large role in national energy profiles. In the United States, industrial motor systems account for about 17% of total electricity use. U.S. adoption of more efficient motors and motor systems could save an estimated 62-104 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, at a cost savings of $3-5 billion. This research was prepared by Duke CGGC and sponsored by the Corporate Partnerships Program of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Public Transit Buses: Chapter 12

October 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Bengu Aytekin, Gary Gereffi
Buses represent 25,000 to 33,000 domestic jobs, many overlapping with the heavy truck industry. U.S. firms are leading the development of hybrid, all-electric and other "green" buses--the future of the industry. This topic is covered in-depth in this report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Wind Power: Generating Electricity and Employment: Chapter 11

September 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Gloria Ayee, Marcy Lowe, Gary Gereffi
U.S. employment in wind power is estimated at 85,000 jobs and growing quickly, with opportunities to employ workers and capacity from other industries like automotive and aerospace. Opportunities to expand wind power in the United States are explored in this report; the 11th chapter in a series on Manufacturing Climate Solutions written by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Residential Re-Insulation: Chapter 10

August 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Kristen Dubay, Gary Gereffi
With 46 million underinsulated homes in the United States, an expanding re-insulation market could save energy and create U.S. jobs for contractors, insulation installers, distributors, manufacturers, and material suppliers. This topic is explored in this report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Manufacturing Climate Solutions series.
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Hybrid Drivetrains for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks: Chapter 9

June 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Gloria Ayee, Gary Gereffi
The United States is well positioned to take the lead in hybrid commercial trucks, a new, fast- growing market that promises future U.S. jobs in truck manufacturing, advanced energy storage, electronics, and software. This report was prepared by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) as part of the Manufacturing Climate Solutions series.
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Carbon Capture and Storage: A Post-Combustion Capture Technology: Chapter 8

May 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Kristen Dubay, Gary Gereffi
Chapter 8 of the Manufacturing Climate Solutions prepared by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) focuses on carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies (CCS). These technologies will allow the U.S. to continue using fossil fuel for power generation while also achieving national goals to reduce CO2 emissions. These billion dollar projects also present huge U.S.-based employment opportunities in fields ranging from R&D to manufacturing and construction.
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Recycling Industrial Waste Energy: Chapter 7

February 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Gary Gereffi
Many industrial processes discard exhaust heat, combustible gases, and other "waste" energy. These highly recoverable resources can be harnessed to generate electricity, thus saving energy costs, reducing CO2 emissions, creating new jobs, and protecting existing jobs by increasing productivity and competitiveness. This report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) explores this topic.
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Heat Pump Water Heaters: Chapter 6

February 2009   |   Durham, NC   |   Kristen Dubay, Gloria Ayee, Gary Gereffi
Current residential heat pump water heater products are add-on units used in conjunction with conventional storage tanks and they are produced by a handful of very small U.S. companies. The recent introduction of ENERGY STAR water heater criteria appears to be incentivizing some larger appliance manufacturers to develop new heat pump water heater products that will be more widely available. If consumer interest in heat pump water heaters increases, the market would need to scale up significantly to meet greater demands, opening greater opportunities for U.S. component manufacturing in the value chain. This topic is explored in-depth in this report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Super Soil Systems: Chapter 5

November 2008   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Marcy Lowe
Super Soil is not yet commercially available, but it is an example of a technology that could potentially be widely adopted. The adoption of this or similar technologies would involve manufacturing jobs producing large tanks. Additional manufacturing jobs would be needed to make the equipment, along with the associated requirements for steel, glass, concrete, and other materials, and construction jobs to build the facility. This new technology for treating hog waste could allow the United States to become a global market leader in a sector where, until now, no adequate alternative has been available. This report was prepared by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Concentrating Solar Power: Clean Energy for the Electric Grid: Chapter 4

November 2008   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Kristen Dubay
Concentrating solar power (CSP) represents a clean, powerful, endless, and reliable source of energy with the capacity to entirely satisfy the present and future electricity needs in the U.S. The new market for concentrating solar power plants has potential to create numerous U.S. manufacturing and construction jobs as U.S. companies grow and foreign firms come to the United States. This report was the fourth chapter in a series on Manufacturing Climate Solutions written by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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Auxiliary Power Units for Trucks: Chapter 3

November 2008   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Kristen Dubay
Integration of auxiliary power units into long-haul truck manufacturing in the near future will likely increase penetration rates dramatically, with a corresponding boost to manufacturing. Expanded production of APUs would create economic opportunity at all stages of the value chain by increasing purchases from material and component suppliers. Additional value chain opportunities will likely come when APU technology is integrated as a component in tractor manufacturing rather than being an aftermarket product. The report was written by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
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High-Performance Windows: Chapter 2

November 2008   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Kristen Dubay
This report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) explores high-performance window technologies. The U.S. industry faces new, more stringent efficiency criteria that may spur manufacturers to retool production lines and further innovate. Over the course of criteria changes, jobs may have to develop more efficient products. The ability of companies to respond to criteria changes may determine which companies will benefit and which will struggle to compete.
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LED Lighting: Chapter 1

November 2008   |   Durham, NC   |   Gary Gereffi, Marcy Lowe
This report by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) explores light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for lighting applications. LEDs are a semiconductor technology whose application to general-purpose lighting is rapidly growing, with significant potential for energy savings. The market for general-purpose LED lighting is currently very small, but it is growing rapidly as the technology improves and costs go down. Leading U.S. manufacturers find it crucial to ensure high quality and to protect their innovations-two good reasons to keep the manufacturing close to home.
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An Analysis of the U.S. Real Estate Value Chain with Environmental Metrics

April 2008   |   Durham, NC   |   Marcy Lowe, Gary Gereffi
Recognizing that buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy consumption, EDF asked CGGC to analyze the U.S. real estate industry and find key firms that are well-positioned to innovative business practices to reduce building energy use. Among the report's key findings: (1) In the finance segment, there is greater leverage on the equity than the debt side. In other words, when it comes to working with building owners and developers, investors have greater influence than lenders. (2) The greatest energy-savings potential lies in companies that own and operate real estate, and firms that either invest in them or manage property for them. The report was prepared by Duke CGGC for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). In the video, Marcy Lowe, discusses CGGC value chain analysis research on the U.S. real estate industry.
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