Clean Power sunshot cost goals

Published on April 26th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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US DOE Boosting Plug-and-Play Solar with SunShot Initiative

April 26th, 2012 by  


The latest announcement from the US Department of Energy (DOE) is that it’s giving a $5 million boost to the development of “plug-and-play” solar power systems — “photovoltaic (PV) systems that can be purchased, installed and operational in one day.” The $5 million will go to two projects. The DOE is also requesting another $20 million from Congress over the next four years to encourage the development of such technology.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the announcement this week.

“The Department’s announcement today supporting plug-and-play solar energy technologies will help make it easier and cheaper for consumers to adopt clean, affordable solar energy, while supporting U.S. manufacturing leadership in the next generation of clean energy technologies and diversifying America’s energy portfolio,” Chu said on Tuesday.

The DOE website adds: “This effort is part of the Department’s broader strategy to spur solar power deployment by reducing non-hardware, or “soft” costs, such as installation, permitting, and interconnection, which currently amount to more than half of the total cost of residential systems. The funding will help drive innovations to fundamentally change the design and installation of residential PV systems, reducing costs for homeowners and simplifying installations and grid connectivity.”

These soft costs and non-module costs (i.e. electronics and mounting hardware) now account for over half the cost of a solar PV system. Bringing them down is seen by many as the most low-hanging fruit today.

sunshot cost goals

Learn more about the SunShot Initiative or the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on the US DOE website.

Source: DOE.
Images: solar power plug-and-play system via Shutterstock; Sunshot chart via DOE 






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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



  • Beatrice Dorsett

    I’m trying to find out if there is an organization or business who would be willing to allow an impoverished low-income soul to try their solar systems who literally cannot continue bearing the price of the local power company’s greed.  My local power company charges its victims $19.75 as a standard facilities charge even before they use a single watt of power.  Beatrice L. Dorsett – Email:  beatrice.dorsett@gmail.com

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