“GE emerges as the top victor in the Department of Energy’s $72 million investment in advanced manufacturing.”


Big Funding for Advanced Manufacturing in US Renewable Energy Sector

Last week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) shook up the renewable energy industry with a massive $72 million funding announcement. The funding is aimed at advancing domestic wind energy and hydropower projects, and a significant portion of it, over $40 million, has been awarded to projects involving advanced manufacturing techniques, particularly 3D printing.

One of the major recipients of this funding is GE Research, the R&D division of General Electric (GE). GE Research received well over $20 million, accounting for about half of the funding devoted to manufacturing research and development. In fact, GE Research was the sole recipient of $14.9 million for the largest individual project, which focuses on manufacturing near net shape metal components for hydropower equipment. This development hints at a promising future for GE Vernova, the company set to emerge from the current GE Renewable division when it separates from the parent company at the beginning of 2024. GE Vernova will concentrate on renewable energy, while the parent company will retain its focus on aerospace endeavors.

Apart from the hydropower project, GE Research also garnered funds to explore additive manufacturing (AM) for large wind turbine blades and other components, as well as for research and development into advanced materials for use in these blades. The partnership between GE and COBOD, the Danish-based leader in additive construction (AC) platforms, holds significant potential in advancing these endeavors. In fact, COBOD and GE Renewable had previously announced the establishment of the world’s largest AC research facility back in April 2022. The facility features a concrete printer exclusively designed by COBOD for GE, highlighting their collaborative efforts in creating 3D printed bases for wind turbines. Furthermore, in a subsequent development, GE Renewable became a minority investor in COBOD.

It is truly refreshing to witness substantial investment in AM from sectors of the US government beyond the Department of Defense (DoD). Even for those focused solely on national security, this diversification of funding is crucial for long-term interests. The transfer of manufacturing expertise from the DoD to other government agencies will play a critical role in determining the effectiveness of this process. Consequently, it is crucial for agencies like the DOE to be fully prepared and actively engaged in these initiatives to ensure a successful transition.

In conclusion, the recent DOE funding not only bolsters the US renewable energy sector, but also presents immense opportunities for advanced manufacturing, particularly in the realm of 3D printing. GE Research’s significant funding allocation and its collaboration with COBOD are indicative of the industry’s trajectory and the potential for further advancements. As this exciting field continues to evolve, keeping abreast of the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry will be invaluable.

Original source


“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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