DOE announced to cut solar costs significantly by 2030
Post date: 29/03/2021 - 10:45
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new target to cut the cost of solar energy by 60 percent within the next ten years, in addition to nearly $128 million in funding to lower costs, improve performance, and speed the deployment of solar energy technologies.
»Lowering the cost of solar energy is essential to accelerating deployment and achieving President Biden’s goal of a 100 percent clean electricity grid by 2035,« says Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. To reach that goal in the next 15 years, the country »will need to add hundreds of gigawatts of solar energy to the grid at a pace as much as five times faster than current installation rates.«
Therefore, the DOE is accelerating its utility-scale solar cost target by five years and is setting a new goal of driving down the current cost of ¢4.6 per kilowatt-hour to ¢3 by 2025 and ¢2 per kilowatt-hour by 2030. The Department of Energy grant the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to lower costs, improve performance, and speed the deployment of solar energy technologies.
Funding announced through DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) will support also advancing perovskites and cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin films. The agency is awarding $40 million to 22 projects that will advance perovskite PV device and manufacturing research and development as well as performance through the formation of a new $14 million testing center to provide neutral, independent validation of the performance of new perovskite devices.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will get $20 million to set up a consortium to advance cheaper CdTe thin-film solar technologies. This consortium will advance low-cost manufacturing techniques and domestic research capabilities.
In addition, DOE announced $7 million as part of a new funding opportunity for projects to increase the lifetime of silicon-based PV systems from about 30 years to 50 years, lowering the cost of energy and reducing waste. The aim is to improve PV system components, such as inverters, connectors, cables, racks, and trackers.
Furthermore, the DOE announced to support several concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) projects to improve the reliability and performance of CSP plants ($33 million). Sandia National Laboratories will receive $25 million funding to build a facility where researchers, developers, and manufacturers can test next-generation CSP components and systems and advance toward DOE’s 2030 cost target of ¢5 per kilowatt-hour for CSP plants.