The US Department of Energy last week awarded $13 million for five solar projects aimed at strengthening domestic solar manufacturing and speeding the commercialization of even more efficient, and even more affordable photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. The $13 million in awards comes from the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, and they are aimed at increasing US competitiveness in the global clean energy market, a fast-growing, multi-trillion-dollar market.
“The strong, continued growth in the U.S. solar industry over the past few years is giving more and more Americans access to affordable clean energy,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “We have a tremendous opportunity for American manufacturing to lead the global clean energy market and help pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
Electricity from solar, wind, and geothermal more than doubled in Obama’s first term. Obama recebtly set a goal of doubling renewable electricity generation yet again by 2020. These new SunShot awards are aimed at helping that along, and they are boosted by over $14 million in additional private investment.
The awardees are 5 companies in California, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Oregon develop who are working to develop cost-cutting manufacturing processes for photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies.
Colorado-based Abengoa Solar, which Tina covered last week, is one of the awardees. It is producing concentrating solar power (CSP) trough systems, which are aimed at helping to lower overall CSP production costs while making their assembly easier and quicker on the site of the intended final use.
“PPG Industries, headquartered in Pennsylvania, will lead a project to cut solar module manufacturing costs in half, while Georgia-based Suniva will develop a low-cost highly efficient silicon photovoltaic cell,” the DOE adds.
The SunShot Initiative’s goal to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. For more news about the SunShot Initiative, check our our SunShot channel, or obsessively scroll through our solar energy archives.