WASHINGTON, D.C. | SEIA —
As part of its ongoing efforts to make solar cost competitive with other forms of electricity, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative announced that it will provide $32 million in new funding opportunities to help spur additional solar development nationwide.
“This is terrific news. Without question, all of these initiatives will help to lower the cost of solar energy in the future,” said Ken Johnson, SEIA vice president of communications. “For our part, we remain totally committed to having 50,000 former U.S. military personnel employed in solar by the end of 2020. Expanded training opportunities, advancements in data accessibility and quality, and enhanced CSP technologies are certain to benefit the solar industry across-the-board. We applaud DOE’s SunShot Initiative for its continuing efforts to expand the deployment of solar energy across the United States, while also helping to make solar more affordable for all Americans.”
According to SunShot, the new opportunities include:
* The Solar Training and Education for Professionals funding program will tackle soft costs by addressing gaps in solar training and energy education, both within the solar workforce and in professions that play a crucial role in solar deployment. Learn more.
* The Solar Bankability Data to Advance Transactions and Access funding program will increase data accessibility and quality, and will facilitate the growth and expansion of the solar industry by creating a standardized data landscape for distributed solar. The goal of this funding program is to support the creation and adoption of industry-led open data standards for rapid and seamless data exchange across the value chain from origination to decommissioning. Learn more.
* The CSP: Concentrating Optics for Lower Levelized Energy Costs funding program seeks to further CSP system technologies by soliciting disruptive, transformative projects for the concentrating solar collectors in the CSP plant. These innovative projects will seek to enable CSP to be cost-competitive with conventional forms of electric power generation. Learn more.
Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into the U.S. economy. What’s more, according to a new SEIA analysis looking at the 10-year period from the end of 2004 through the end of 2014, the average price of an installed residential PV system dropped by more than 60 percent, while utility-scale prices plummeted by more than 73 percent. During that same time period, 19.5 gigawatts (GW) of new solar capacity was added nationwide.