This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 27, 2013

Energy Department Offers $19 Million to Reduce PV Costs, Increase Efficiency

The Energy Department on November 20 announced $19 million in funding to reduce both hardware and non-hardware costs of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and to drive greater solar energy deployment in the United States. This funding builds on the Energy Department’s broader SunShot Initiative investments that are driving down the cost of solar power and making solar affordable for more American families and companies. Since the beginning of 2010, the price of a solar electric system has dropped by more than 70%.

Through this ninth round, the Energy Department is making $10 million available to support and accelerate cutting-edge advancements in solar energy hardware, reductions in soft costs—such as permitting and installation—and the development of pilot manufacturing processes. The SunShot funding builds on a record of successful partnerships with small businesses, national laboratories, and academia by providing early-stage assistance to help small businesses cross technological barriers to commercialization, spurring private sector investment.

The Energy Department is also announcing $9 million for the Next Generation Photovoltaics III program that will push the limits of PV efficiency while reducing costs, improving reliability, and creating more secure and sustainable supply chains. The funding will advance foundational research projects, driving technological innovations and planting the seeds for breakthroughs that could lead to mature technologies. Applications are now being accepted for both funding opportunities. See the Energy Department Progress Alert.