DOE announces $82M funding for CSP and Power Electronics

Written By: Katherine Demetre
September 12, 2017

department of energy

On September 12, 2017, the Department of Energy released new research that shows the solar industry has achieved the 2020 utility-scale solar cost target set by the SunShot Initiative.

According to the government, the average price of utility-scale solar is now 6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), largely due to rapid cost declines in solar photovoltaic (PV) hardware.

Because of this, DOE stated that they would look beyond SunShot’s 2020 goals with an expanded 2030 vision for the Solar Energy Technologies Office. Specifically, while DOE would continue research to drive down costs, new funding programs would focus on a broader scope of Administration priorities, which includes early-stage research to address solar energy’s critical challenges of grid reliability, resilience, and storage.

Daniel Simmons, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, commented:

With the impressive decline in solar prices, it is time to address additional emerging challenges. As we look to the future, DOE will focus new solar R&D on the Secretary’s priorities, which include strengthening the reliability and resilience of the electric grid while integrating solar energy.

To further the new priorities for DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, Acting Assistant Secretary Simmons announced up to $82 million in early-stage research in two areas, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and Power Electronics.

Per the government, the CSP would contain up to $62 million to support advances in CSP technologies in order to enable on-demand solar energy. Additionally, for their Power Electronics research, they would place to $20 million towards early-stage projects to advance power electronics technologies.

Stratton Report had the privilege of meeting Becca Jones-Albertus, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Solar Energy Technology Office at the U.S. Department of Energy to elaborate on this announcement.

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