An Opportunity for Grants: Solar America Initiative


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An Opportunity for Grants: Solar America Initiative

The Solar America Initiative is an ongoing effort by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office at the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the efficiency of solar technologies and to assist in deploying more solar systems in the United States. Grants are available to for-profit companies, university and not-for-profit organizations.

The Department of Energy describes the program:

  • The Solar America Initiative is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) effort to make solar electricity from photovoltaics (PV) cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity from the utility grid by 2015. The strategy pursues complementary activities in research and development (R&D) and in market transformation. The goals are to reduce costs through R&D and to eliminate market barriers through deployment.
  • The Solar America Initiative's research and development (R&D) activities focus on two primary solar technologies for power generation: photovoltaics and concentrating solar power. These R&D activities provide significant opportunities for collaboration among industry, university, and national laboratory researchers to develop and improve solar energy technologies.
  • The Solar America Initiative's R&D approach involves activities that range from novel devices and processes to product and manufacturing process design. The R&D activities are divided into the following three categories:
    • New Devices and Processes—These research and development activities address the development of novel photovoltaic or concentrating solar power devices or processes with potentially significant performance or cost advantages.
    • Prototype Components and Systems—These R&D activities emphasize development of photovoltaic or concentrating solar power prototype components or systems produced at pilot-scale with demonstrated cost, reliability, or performance advantages.
    • Systems Development and Manufacturing—These R&D activities focus on photovoltaic or concentrating solar power components and systems that are ready for mass production and capable of delivering energy at target costs.

On June 25, 2008, the House of Representatives passed the fiscal year 2009 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Included in the bill was $220 million in funding for the Solar America Initiative, a $30 million dollar increase in funding from last year. The Energy and Water Appropriations bill is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate on July 12, 2008 and will be voted on by both houses of Congress to be sent to the President for approval. SEMI supports the Solar America Initiative and applauds Congress for the additional funding.

To review the fundamentals of the Solar America Initiative and to receive more information on grant opportunities available through the program, please visit the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office website at: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/solar_america/.

July 9, 2008