The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $21.7 million in next-generation photovoltaic (PV) technology to help accelerate the widespread use of advanced solar power. The DOE has selected 25 projects to participate in this funding opportunity.
‘These projects help create a pipeline for the development of next-generation solar technology,’ says Samuel W. Bodman, the DOE's secretary. ‘Our goal is to make solar power a more mainstream source of energy – to increase energy security and maintain America's competitive edge.’
Projects selected represent an important early-stage investment from DOE in advanced PV technologies. These new solar technologies have the potential to produce electricity at costs well below the current costs of grid-supplied electricity. The device and manufacturing process research, which will be used by the selected projects, is expected to produce prototype cells and/or processes by 2015, with the potential for full commercialization shortly thereafter.
The 25 projects were selected competitively from a large and diverse pool of applicants, demonstrating the growing enthusiasm for PV technology, the DOE says. The projects will be implemented at 15 universities and six companies, and each award averages $900,000 from the DOE over three years. The DOE will provide up to $21.7 million in funding, subject to final project negotiations and congressional appropriations. With cost-sharing, the total investment in research will be up to $30.3 million.