The Solar Technology Roadmap Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., will be sent to the full House of Representatives after earning strong bipartisan support from the Science and Technology Committee.
Giffords' legislation would require the U.S. Department of Energy to appoint a group of experts to create a long-term plan to guide solar energy research and its transition into commercial uses.
The group would identify research and development that needs to occur to help improve the performance and reliability of solar technologies, decrease cost, reduce water use and mitigate any negative environmental impacts. It would be subject to a comprehensive revision every three years to keep it current.
The legislation also authorizes $2.25 billion for solar research over the next five years.