US Announces New Funding To Improve Solar Technology Research

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Similar to Australia, solar energy in the United States has grown tremendously over the past years. In fact, the US Department of Energy has announced $125.5 million in new funding to improve solar technology research. Advances in the research and development of solar technologies will reduce the costs of solar, improve reliability of the grid and enhance competition among US manufacturing companies.

In addition to solar funding, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced $43.8 million funding for the advancement of geothermal research and development. At least $300 million will be invested in sustainable transportation this year. The total funding is EEREs largest investment over the past 6 years.

Funding will also support advancements in photovoltaic hardware research to extend the lifetimes of PV’s and to reduce the costs of hardware for solar panels that are made from silicon solar cells. Research will also include new technologies like thin-film, tandem and perovskite solar cells.

Funding for innovations in manufacturing is expected to advance innovative product ideas from the prototype to the commercial stage. The aim is to produce products that will support a strong US solar manufacturing sector and supply chain. Partnerships will be encouraged between experts in artificial intelligence and solar technology for the development of disruptive solutions across the value chain of the solar industry.

Small innovative projects in solar, PV and concentrated solar power will also receive funding to advance innovative and novel ideas in photovoltaic and CSP. Significant results are expected to be produced within the first year of performance.

According to Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes, the administration wants to expedite funding opportunities due to the growing demand for clean and renewable technologies on the grid. Progress in cyber security and grid integration, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will increase the demand for solar technologies today and the future.