The Energy Department announced $25 million in new funding to boost domestic solar manufacturing and speed up the commercialization of affordable PV and CSP technologies. The agency announced that the US solar industry is more than 60 percent of the way to achieving SunShot’s target of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. In the United States, the average price for a utility-scale PV project has dropped from about $0.21 per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to $0.11 per kilowatt-hour at the end of 2013.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the average US electricity price is about $0.12 per kilowatt-hour.
Over the last three years, the cost of a solar energy system has dropped by more than 50 percent. The new $25 million in funding will help to further lower the cost of solar electricity, says DOE.
Eligible projects for the new SunShot funding may include developing advanced technology that lowers domestic solar manufacturing costs and developing and demonstrating components or new manufacturing processes that cut project construction and installation time. The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative aims to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy by 2020.