As part of the SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the selectionof up to $112.5 million over five years for funding to support thedevelopment of advanced solar photovoltaic (PV)-related manufacturingprocesses throughout the United States. The Department’s SunShotAdvanced Manufacturing Partnerships will help the solar power industryovercome technical barriers and reduce costs for PV installations, helpthe U.S. regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies,and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.
“Expanding the U.S. solar energy industryis an important part of the Administration’s goals to diversify ourelectricity supply and rebuild America’s manufacturing base to createjobs now and in the future,” said Secretary Chu. “The SunShot Initiative will not only keep the United States at the forefront in solar energyresearch and development, but will help us win the worldwide race tobuild a solar manufacturing industry that produces solar systems thatare cost competitive with fossil fuels .”Today’s investments are part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative, which aims to reduce the total costs ofphotovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75 percent so that they arecost competitive at large scale with other forms of energy withoutsubsidies by the end of the decade. Achieving this goal – equivalent toapproximately $1 a watt or roughly 6 cents per kilowatt-hour for utility systems – would allow solar energy systems to be broadly deployedacross the country.
The SunShot program will also fund $25 million to the Bay Area PV Consortium (BAPVC) to spur industry-relevant research and development to impact highvolume PV manufacturing using a competitive selection process open toall universities. This project, managed by Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, will develop and test the innovative new materials, device structures,and fabrication processes necessary to achieve cost effective PV modules in high volume production. The research will advance technologies thatbring down manufacturing costs and improve device performancecharacteristics to help achieve SunShot’s price targets. An industryboard composed of representatives from PV companies will determine thespecific topics for research and development to assure close alignmentwith industry and manufacturing needs.