U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu Friday announced that $27 million will be awarded to nine new projects as part of the government’s $200 million per year “SunShot” initiative to bring the total costs of utility scale solar energy systems down about 75 percent -- to roughly $1 a watt - by 2020.
DoE estimates that if the installed costs for solar energy systems drop to $1 per watt — equivalent to a cost of 5-6 cents per kilowatt hour — solar without subsidies would be competitive with the wholesale rate of electricity nearly everywhere in the U.S.
SunShot aims to restore the country’s once-dominant position in the global market for solar photovoltaics, which has dwindled from 43 percent in 1995 to only six percent today.
The SunShot initiative will continue to accelerate and advance the DoE's existing research efforts by refocusing its solar energy programs — valued at approximately $200 million per year — to support a targeted roadmap to meet the SunShot goal by the end of the decade.
"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," Chu said.
Chu said the SunShot program builds on the legacy of President Kennedy's 1960s "moon shot" goal, which laid out a plan to regain the country's lead in the space race and land a man on the moon.
Photo credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/Roy Kaltschmidt
Any opinion contained in this article is solely that of the writers, and does not necessarily shape or reflect the editorial opinions of Energy Boom. Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.