DOE Works to Cut Solar Costs by 75%

April 8, 2011

Although solar power produces only 1% of the total electricity output for the U.S., the DOE is initiating a new effort to drastically cut solar costs and stimulate international competition. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has plans to reduce costs up to 75% by funding $27 million in projects to advance the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of advanced solar energy technologies.

PV array installations currently cost around 22 cents per kilowatt hour, with federal and state incentives able to reduce that to below 15 cents. The DOE’s initiatives would drive costs to only 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, or $1 per watt.

The solar funding, dubbed the SunShot Initiative, will work to bring down the full cost of solar – including the costs of the solar cells and installation – by focusing on four main pillars:

  • Solar cell and array technologies
  • Electronics that optimize installation performance
  • Efficiency improvements during manufacturing processes
  • Installation, design, and permitting for PV systems

The program will also eliminate solar subsidies before the end of the decade and focus on steps to streamline and digitize local permitting processes that will reduce installation and permitting costs.

By improving solar cell performance and slashing the costs associated with installation and permitting, Sunshot will remove a significant barrier to green power.

"The SunShot Initiative will spur American innovations to reduce the costs of solar energy and re-establish U.S. global leadership in this growing industry," Chu says. "These efforts will boost our economic competitiveness, rebuild our manufacturing industry, and help reach the President’s goal of doubling our clean energy in the next 25 years."

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Security & Technology Month

Date: May 8, 15, 22, 29. 2024Time: 1:00 PM EDT / 12:00 PM CDT / 10:00 AM PDT / 5:00 PM GMTSponsors: Duration: 1 Hour each  Register Today!  Single sign...

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...