DOE Awards $53M to Cut Solar Cost

October 24, 2014 By Karen Henry

DOE-logo-energy-manageThe US Department of Energy (DOE) is investing more than $53 million for 40 research and development projects to drive down the cost of solar energy, addressing key aspects of technology development in order to bring innovative ideas to the market more quickly. These awards upport the development of next-generation PV solar technologies and advanced manufacturing processes and address both hardware and non-hardware “soft” costs of solar installation.

DOE is awarding more than $14 million to 10 research institutions to improve the performance, efficiency and durability of solar PV devices. The R&D projects will explore solutions such as new high-performance materials and novel techniques for creating more efficient solar cells that cost less to manufacture.

Through its SunShot Incubator program, the DOE is investing more than $14 million in 20 small businesses whose projects take a number of approaches to decreasing costs, creating a software-based solution to quantify risk for solar investors, developing advanced materials and components that maximize efficiency for concentrating solar power (CSP) and identifying ways to eliminate the need for expensive silver in solar cell manufacturing.

In support of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, the DOE is awarding more than $24 million to 10 US-based solar manufacturers working to increase efficiency in manufacturing processes used to make PV and CSP technologies. These investments focus on tackling key cost-contributors such as raw materials, labor-intensive processes and capital expenses.

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