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Department of Energy Awards More Than
$145 Million for Advanced Solar Technologies

by Dennis Bragg
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, September 1, 2011

Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $145 million for projects to help shape the next generation of solar energy technologies and ensure that the United States remains a leader in this global market. Sixty-nine projects in 24 states will accelerate research and development to increase efficiency, lower costs, and advance cutting-edge technologies. Funded through DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the projects will also improve materials, manufacturing processes, and supply chains for a wide range of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and components of solar energy systems. Some of these investments also support efforts that will shorten the overall timeline from prototype to production and streamline building codes, zoning laws, permitting rules, and business processes for installing solar energy systems.

"America is in a world race to produce cost-competitive renewable energy that can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create manufacturing jobs across the nation, and improve our energy security," said Secretary Chu. "The projects announced today under DOE's SunShot Initiative will spur American innovation to help reduce the costs of clean, renewable solar energy and re-establish U.S. global leadership in this fast growing industry."

The SunShot Initiative seeks to make solar energy systems more cost-competitive, without long-term subsidies, by reducing the cost of these systems about 75% by the end of the decade. The achievement of the SunShot Initiative goals will encourage rapid, widespread adoption of solar energy systems across the United States.

SunShot is driving innovation in the way solar energy systems are conceived, designed, manufactured, and installed. The awards announced today will target improvements across the research, development, and demonstration pipeline, from next generation technologies 7-10 years away from commercial readiness, to scientific and technological improvements which can be rapidly implemented within 5 years. The programs will create entirely new and more economical approaches to collecting solar energy and tackle fundamental challenges to ramp up use of these renewable energy technologies.

The six categories of projects announced today are:

Dennis Bragg
Department of Energy Awards More Than $145 Million for Advanced Solar Technologies
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, September 1, 2011

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