The US Department of Energy (DOE) has revealed a set of measures – aligned with President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan – to build up the renewable energy sector in the country.
In an effort to expand on the rapidly growing PV market, the DOE's Solar Instructor Training Network has revealed a new pilot job training programme for veterans at up to three military bases starting this autumn. As part of the programme, these veterans will be connected with the DOE’s system of 400 community college-type solar training facilities in an effort to generate new jobs and employees.
As a result of this new training programme, at least 50,000 new workers are expected to enter into the PV sector by 2020.
As a way to reduce costs for solar energy – especially in terms of interconnection, permitting and financing, the DOE’s SunShot Initiative has opened up a new website – Solar Powering America – which will make multiple resources available to potential customers in an effort to further stimulate the market.
In addition, the US Department of Agriculture has planned to invest US$68 million in 540 renewable energy projects across the country – including 240 PV projects. The funding for this nationwide investment will be drawn from the Rural Energy for America Program REAP – which provides financial aid to farmers and small business in rural areas in order to spur them to install renewable energy systems and make efforts to improve their energy efficiency.
Things continue to look bright for PV power in the US, as three new reports show that the price of solar is continuing to drop. In 2013, the installed cost of both commercial and residential solar in the US dropped by more than 12%.