Electricity Markets

Department of Energy Releases Energy Supply Chain Report

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a report on a review of the nation’s energy supply chain that identified a range of risks and vulnerabilities that vary by technology and will require a sweeping set of diverse policy actions, DOE said. The report also includes recommendations for congressional action.

The report was issued in response to President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14017, America’s Supply Chains, issued last February.

DOE solicited stakeholder input on “approaches and actions needed to build resilient supply chains for the energy sector,” as it prepared the report pursuant to the EO. The American Public Power Association (APPA) and the Large Public Power Council (LPPC) submitted comments in response to a related DOE Request for Information (RFI).

In the report, which was issued in late February, DOE said that along with identifying a range of risks and vulnerabilities that vary by technology, it also identified common threats, risks, and vulnerabilities across all selected technologies.

DOE said that these common risks and vulnerabilities are grouped into seven main opportunities for action:

  • Increase raw material availability;
  • Expand domestic manufacturing capabilities;
  • Support formation of and invest in diverse, secure, and socially responsible foreign supply chains;
  • Increase the adoption and deployment of clean energy;
  • Improve end-of-life energy-related waste management;
  • Attract and support a skilled workforce for the clean energy transition; and
  • Enhance supply chain knowledge and decision-making.

Together, they create a strategy to secure a clean energy transition that DOE said it will work with other federal agencies to implement.

Global Energy Marketplace

DOE said that an analysis of the global energy marketplace “shows that many governments and government coalitions have adopted coordinated, government-led strategies and industrial policies to advance and unlock significant investment in key supply chain segments.”

It said that one example is China’s investment in domestic cobalt production and processing paired with investment in international raw material inputs that enabled China to corner a significant market share in cobalt processing.

Through the report, DOE “maps out a strategy to rapidly secure the critical supply chains necessary to meet economic, national security, and climate goals.”

The policy strategies in the report are informed by 13 supporting deep dive supply chain assessment documents conducted by researchers from DOE and several of its national laboratories, in consultation with stakeholders across the public, private, and social sectors.

In addition to targeted consultation, the policy strategies are informed by comments received in response to the RFI.

Report Highlights Policies

The report highlights policies that DOE said will enable the United States to build resilient supply chains to meet energy security, national security, economic, and climate objectives.

Specifically, the report identifies cross-cutting executive actions that address seven strategic opportunities applicable across all technologies and includes technology-specific executive actions.

It also identifies recommended congressional actions that address strategic supply chain objectives applicable across all technologies. The report also lays out technology-specific recommendations requiring congressional action.

DOE said that the supply chain review reveals several supply chain opportunities that will require additional authority and funding in the next 10 years.

Tables included in the report summarize sector-wide and technology-specific recommendations that will require congressional support to provide DOE and other federal agencies additional authority needed to expand support for supply chains. 

The report is available here.

APPA/LPPC Comments

In response to the RFI, APPA and LPPC said that DOE should utilize a risk-based framework for supply chain security and further recommended that DOE study domestic and international supply of both distribution and bulk electric system transformers and the components needed to manufacture these transformers.