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Syracuse iSchool professor receives grant to study global value chain of wind energy

February 10, 2010

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

President Obama’s administration has put a strong emphasis on the creation of clean energy jobs in the United States. In his State of the Union Address on Jan. 27, President Obama once again stated the United States needs to become a bigger player in the clean energy industry and provide Americans with clean energy jobs.

Jason Dedrick’s new study on the global wind energy industry hopes to provide factual research on policy issues such as clean energy jobs. Dedrick, associate professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool), has received a $20,000 planning grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to begin his research and formulate a proposal for the study, titled “Value Capture and Job Creation in the Global Wind Energy Industry.”

“We would like to provide a solid foundation for people looking at policy issues,” Dedrick says.

The grant money will contribute to collecting preliminary data for the Global Wind Energy study as well as gaining cooperation from wind energy companies in the United States and in other countries.
Dedrick says it is typical to have innovative products, such as wind turbines, delivered through a global value chain with design in one country, manufacturing in another and components supplied by many others. “We want to know who is capturing the profits from wind turbines,” he says.

The goal of the study is to identify the value of wind turbines and the distribution of jobs and financial profits. To accomplish this, the major parts of a wind turbine will be identified and each part’s cost and manufacturer will be determined, as well as the cost and location of assembly.

Dedrick says the long-term goal of this project will be to look into the wind energy industry and then go on to look into other sustainable technologies such as solar energy and electric cars.

“I am really excited about this project,” Dedrick says. “There is a lot happening in the field academically and in the industry.”

Dedrick will be collaborating with Kenneth L. Kraemer of the University of California, Irvine and Greg Linden of the University of California, Berkeley. The trio recently finished a similar study on the global distribution of profits and jobs for innovative products such as Apple’s iPod, notebook PCs and smart phones.

Dedrick’s research interests include the globalization of information technology, the economic and organizational impacts of IT, national IT policy, the offshoring of innovation and knowledge work and Green IT. He is co-director of the Personal Computing Industry Center, sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which supports original research and projects for science, technology and economic performance.

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