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

February 19, 2014

Energy Department Offers $25 Million for U.S. Solar Manufacturing

The Energy Department announced on February 12 that it is offering $25 million in new funding to boost domestic solar manufacturing and speed up the commercialization of efficient, affordable photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power technologies. This funding, provided by the Energy Department's SunShot Initiative in support of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, will help to further lower the cost of solar electricity, support a growing U.S. solar workforce, and increase U.S. competitiveness in the global clean energy market.

The new SunShot funding will support innovative projects that help solar manufacturers tackle key cost contributors across the hardware supply chain and make improvements in a broad range of manufacturing processes that save time and money. Eligible projects may include developing advanced technology that lowers domestic solar manufacturing costs and developing and demonstrating components or new manufacturing processes that cut project construction and installation time.

The Energy Department also announced that the U.S. solar industry is more than 60% of the way to achieving cost-competitive utility-scale PV electricity, only three years into the Energy Department’s decade-long SunShot Initiative. In the United States, the average price for a utility-scale PV project has dropped from about $0.21 per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to $0.11 per kilowatt-hour at the end of 2013. The SunShot Initiative aims to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional sources of energy by 2020. See the Energy Department news release and the funding opportunity.