The US Department of Energy (DoE) is to fund seven research projects to identify opportunities for reducing the costs of solar deployment as part of its SunShot Initiative.
The projects in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Texas will receive a share of $9 million and are intended to help accelerate the US’s take up of solar energy.
US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said: “Through powerful analytical tools developed by our nation's top universities and national labs, we can gain unparalleled insight into solar deployment that will help lower the cost of solar power and create new businesses and jobs. Projects like these will help accelerate technological and financing innovations—making it easier for American families and businesses to access clean, affordable energy.”
A team led by Sandia National Laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Yale University and the University of Texas will receive $7 million of the funding.
They will partner with public and private financial institutions, utilities, and state agencies to explore the application of statistical and computational tools to industry problem-solving and lead regional pilot projects across the country to test the impact and scalability of their innovations.
The other $2million will go to three projects led by the University of North Carolina–Charlotte, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and SRI International, which will to analyse several decades of scientific publications, patents and cost and production data.
The aim of these projects is to build up a complete picture of the US solar industry to discover methods to accelerate technological breakthroughs, and remove roadblocks to greater cost reduction.