The Department of Energy recently announced $46.2 million for 48 projects as part of its SunShot Initiative. The projects fall under two SunShot initiatives—the Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2), which supports advances in solar photovoltaic technology; and Technology to Market 3 (T2M3), which is designed to support early-stage solar technology research.
The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national effort, to support solar energy adoption by making solar energy affordable for all Americans through research and development efforts in both the public and private sectors. The Initiative was designed in 2011 to support solar technologies, with the ultimate goal to cut down solar energy costs 75% by 2020. More specifically, those goals are:
- $0.09 per kilowatt hour for residential solar
- $0.07 per kilowatt hour for commercial solar
- $0.06 per kilowatt hour for utility-scale solar
And the results are overwhelming. As of November 2016, just five years into the program, the solar industry is already more than 90% of its way toward achieving SunShot’s utility-scale goal and has also seen significant cost reductions in residential and commercial solar. Combined with other DOE initiatives, solar integration costs have declined 60% since the program started.
The newly awarded $46 million is divided under two initiatives. The first is the Photovoltaics Research and Development 2: Modules and Systems (PVRD2) program, which aims to develop technologies to improve solar module performance, reliability, and manufacturability. Twenty eight projects have been awarded a total of $20 million, including both Fraunhofer USA Inc., Center for Sustainable Energy Systems and Massachusetts Institute of Technology of the greater Boston area.
The second intuitive is the Technology to Market 3 (T2M3) funding program, which aims to accelerate the research and development of highly impactful solar energy technologies. Among the 20 projects awarded $25.7 million are Boston’s own Energetic Insurance and EnergySage, both working to advance solar deployment in the state of Massachusetts.
For more information on the DOE’s SunShot Initiative and its programs click HERE.