Some $117.6 million will be allocated to solar-related projects out of $467 million in funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act designated to expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the U.S. President Barack Obama said that the funding represents a substantial downpayment that will help the two renewables industries overcome technical barriers, demonstrate new technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.
“We have a choice,” said the President. “We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy. We can hand over the jobs of the future to our competitors, or we can confront what they have already recognized as the great opportunity of our time: the nation that leads the world in creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy. That’s the nation I want America to be.”
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu (pictured) noted that “we have an ambitious agenda to put millions of people to work by investing in clean energy technology like solar and geothermal energy. These technologies represent two pieces of a broad energy portfolio that will help us aggressively fight climate change and renew our position as a global leader in clean energy jobs.”
DOE will provide $117.6 million in Recovery Act funding to accelerate widespread commercialization of clean solar energy technologies across America. These activities will leverage partnerships that include the department’s national labs, universities, local government, and the private sector, to strengthen the U.S. solar industry and make it a leader in international markets.
In the area of photovoltaic technology development, $51.5 million will be budgeted toward the expansion of investment in advanced PV concepts and high-impact technologies, with the aim of making solar energy cost-competitive with conventional sources of electricity and to strengthen the competitiveness and capabilities of domestic manufacturers.
Solar energy deployment efforts will receive $40.5 million of the funds, with projects focusing on nontechnical barriers to solar energy deployment, including grid connection, market barriers to solar energy adoption in cities, and the shortage of trained solar energy installers.
The remaining $25.6 million has been designated for concentrating solar power R&D. Efforts will work to improve the reliability of concentrating solar power technologies and enhancing the capabilities of DOE national labs to provide test and evaluation support to the solar industry.
Click here for more information about these and other DOE funding opportunities under the Recovery Act.