The SunShot Initiative will not only keep the United States at the forefront in solar energy research and development, but will help us win the worldwide race to build a solar manufacturing industry that produces solar systems that are cost competitive with fossil fuels.
The DOE SunShot Initiative aims to dramatically decrease the total costs of solar energy systems by 75% before the end of the decade. Reaching this goal will make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity without subsidies and enable widespread deployment across the United States.
Since 2007, DOE has used $59 million to attract $1.2 billion in private capital for developing renewable energy.
The SunShot Initiative sets forth a plan to aggressively drive innovation and make large-scale solar energy systems cost-competitive with other forms of unsubsidized energy. To accomplish this, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting efforts by private companies, academia, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to about $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. This in turn will enable solar-generated power to account for 15–18% of America's electricity generation by 2030.
Under the SunShot Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy will fund selective research and loan guarantees for high risk, high payoff concepts—technologies that promise genuine transformation in the ways we generate, store, and utilize solar energy projects.
Inspired by President Kennedy's "moon shot" program that put the first man on the moon, the SunShot Initiative requires a national effort to use "the best of our energies and skills" to accomplish its goals.
The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of electricity and, at the same time, has the largest solar resource of any industrialized country. The SunShot Initiative will re-establish American technological leadership, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness in the global clean energy race, and lead to America's secure energy future.
Through the SunShot Initiative, DOE will provide incentives for advanced solar technology research and development (R&D), domestic manufacturing, and market transformation that will achieve the $0.06 per kilowatt-hour target and enable large-scale solar generated power to account for 15–18% of America's electricity generation by 2030.
These advancements will ultimately benefit every American through:
The DOE SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships will help the solar power industry overcome technical barriers and reduce costs for PV installations, help the U.S. regain the lead in the global market for solar technologies, and provide support for clean energy jobs for years to come.
This program is modeled in part on SEMATECH (SEmiconductor MAnufacturing TECHnology). Faced with falling U.S. market share for the domestic semiconductor industry from 57% in 1982 to 38% in 1988, SEMATECH began working with domestic equipment suppliers to improve their capabilities. As a result of SEMATECH's work to solve common manufacturing problems by leveraging resources and sharing risks, within ten years the domestic semiconductor industry had grown by 16%. Through this award, SEMATECH will now apply similar ingenuity to helping the U.S. recapture the lead in solar manufacturing.
By engaging multiple companies across the PV supply chain, the SunShot Advanced Manufacturing Partnerships program intends to have broad impact on the U.S. solar industry. Selected projects will create organizations designed to bring PV companies together in a coordinated environment to address common technology needs. The facilities established through these projects will provide services, tools, and facilities to PV companies and suppliers to assist them in developing and demonstrating new technologies and in making the transition to commercial production. The program will also link universities and national labs with PV cell, materials, and equipment suppliers to help speed the rate of innovation through coordinated and focused PV manufacturing development. The selected industry-focused organizations will strongly leverage industry, state, and local funds, and are expected to achieve financial self-sufficiency after five years.