Global environmental challenges
Federal purse reopens for solar science
The U.S. Department of Energy announced this week $60 million in funding for scientists to develop “revolutionary research” to lower the cost of solar power systems.
The initiative is being called a “sign of the times for the sector“, and comes amidst accusations the government is squandering taxpayer money on businesses doomed to fail, best exemplified by recently bankrupt solar heavyweight Solyndra.
The DOE says the SunShot CSP grant is meant to look beyond short-term innovation and explore transformative concepts with the “potential to break through performance barriers like efficiency and temperature limitations,” the DOE announced. It wants scientists to think big.
With billions invested in multiple CSP plants throughout the southwestern states, improving CSP generation to the point where it can once again compete with cheaper solar photovoltaic panels appears to be an important priority for the DOE, writes Energy Matters.
(Photo shows U.S. President Barack Obama lifting a solar panel as he tours Solyndra, Inc., a solar panel manufacturing facility in Fremont, California May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)