DOE announces $130 million for early-stage solar research projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $130 million for new research to advance early-stage solar technologies. According to the agency, these projects »will help to achieve affordable and reliable energy to enhance America’s economic growth and energy security.« This funding program targets five research areas: photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), soft costs reduction, innovations in manufacturing, and solar systems integration.
The topic » PV Research and Development« ($26 million) aims to reduce the cost of solar photovoltaics by half. Achieving the DOE’s cost targets would mean that the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for unsubsidized electricity from utility-scale, commercial, and residential PV systems would be $0.03, $0.04, and $0.05, respectively, by 2030. To achieve these reductions, the PV research will focus on increasing performance, reducing material and manufacturing costs, and improving the reliability of PV cells, modules, and systems.
The topic »CSP Research and Development« ($33 million) focuses on technologies that enable CSP to provide power at any time or season, and that work to achieve the 2030 DOE cost target of $0.05 per kWh for CSP-generated electricity with at least 12 hours of thermal energy storage.
The third topic »Balance of Systems Soft Costs Reduction« ($17 million) works to reduce the costs associated with the non-hardware components of a solar system. This includes direct costs such as siting and permitting, as well as financing and compliance with local codes, rules and regulations.
The topic »Innovations in Manufacturing: Hardware Incubator« ($10 million) supports innovative companies with early-stage product ideas that can lower solar costs and rapidly achieve commercialization, with an emphasis on projects that contribute to a strong U.S. solar manufacturing sector.
The topic »Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies« ($44 million) supports improving the ability of grid operators to integrate increasing amounts of solar generation onto the grid in a cost-effective, secure, resilient, and reliable manner.
© PHOTON

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