U.S. Provides Funding for Grid Decarbonizing Solar Technologies

U.S. Provides Funding for Grid Decarbonizing Solar Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded nearly $40 million to 40 projects that are advancing the next generation of solar, storage, and industrial technologies necessary for achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s climate goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Specifically, the projects will reduce the cost of solar technologies by increasing the lifespan of photovoltaic (PV) systems from 30 to 50 years, developing technologies that will enable solar to be used in fuel and chemicals production, and advancing novel storage technologies.

The 40 projects announced today focus on concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and PV. PV technologies directly convert sunlight into electricity, while CSP captures heat from sunlight and uses that thermal energy. The projects will focus on:

  • Photovoltaic research – Three projects to help make PV systems last 50 years, 20 years longer than current PV system lifetimes, which would reduce replacement and maintenance costs of solar systems. These projects will enable modular components that could be easily replaced due to normal wear and tear or after extreme weather events and better monitoring of systems. (Total award amount: $4.5 million)
  • Concentrating solar-thermal power research – Thirteen projects will develop technologies that can enable CSP plants to operate at very high temperatures, which are necessary to produce fuels and chemicals with solar. These projects also improve commercial CSP plants’ overall reliability. (Total award amount: $25 million)
  • Pumped thermal energy storage – Three  projects will develop long-duration thermal energy storage, which can store and deliver at least 10 hours of electricity whenever it is needed, supporting DOE’s Long Duration Storage Shot. (Total award amount: $4 million)
  • PV and CSP research advancement – Twenty-one projects will test novel ideas that can produce significant results in less than two years. These projects have a simplified application process, designed to encourage applications from engineering and science researchers  in traditionally underrepresented groups, as well as early-career researchers  who have never applied or been selected for DOE funding. (Total award amount: $6 million)

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