The US Department of Energy (DOE) plans to reduce the cost of solar energy by 60% over the next 10 years, in addition to funding nearly $ 128 million to cut costs, improve performance and accelerate the use of solar energy technologies.
“In many parts of the country, solar is already cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels,” says Energy Minister Jennifer M. Granholm. “With more innovation, we can again cut costs by more than half within the decade. This initial boost in funding will help bring cheaper clean energy to the grid, create jobs for communities across the country, and move us on to President Joe Biden's goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. “
Lowering the cost of solar energy is critical to accelerating deployment and achieving Biden's goal. To achieve this goal over the next 15 years, the country will need to inject hundreds of gigawatts of solar energy into the grid at a rate five times faster than current installation rates. To this end, DOE is accelerating its cost target for Solar 2030 on a supply scale by five years and is setting itself a new target of reducing current costs from 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 3 cents / kWh and 2 cents / kWh by 2025. kWh by 2030.
Traditional solar panels use photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies to convert sunlight into electrical energy, which could account for between 30% and 50% of the electricity supply in a decarbonised electricity sector by 2035.
The funding announced by the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) will support the further development of materials for the manufacture of solar cells:
– $ 40 Million Research and Development in Perovskite: Perovskites are a family of emerging solar materials that have the potential to make highly efficient thin film solar cells with very low production costs. DOE is awarding $ 40 million to 22 projects that advance perovskite PV device research and development, manufacturing and performance through the establishment of a new $ 14 million test center for neutral, independent validation to enable the performance of new perovskite devices
– $ 20 million for CdTe thin film: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will set up a consortium to promote cheaper CdTe thin film solar technologies, developed in the US and accounting for 20% of the installed modules. The consortium will advance low-cost manufacturing techniques and domestic research capabilities, and enable U.S. workers and entrepreneurs to capture a larger portion of the $ 60 billion global solar manufacturing sector
– $ 7 million as part of a new funding opportunity for projects to extend the life of silicon-based PV systems from approximately 30 to 50 years, reducing energy costs and reducing waste. The aim is to improve PV system components such as inverters, connectors, cables, racks and trackers