Energy & Environment

Energy Department targets 60 percent reduction in solar costs by 2030

solar panels at sunset
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The U.S. Energy Department aims to cut solar energy costs by 60 percent by 2030, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced Thursday afternoon.

In addition to the target, Granholm announced a further $128 million in funding aimed at cutting the cost of deploying solar energy and hastening development. The announcement includes concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) projects, which capture heat from sunlight and use the energy to power engines or turbines.

Another $25 million would go to demonstrating a next-generation CSP power plant constructed by Sandia National Laboratories, according to the Energy Department.

The announcement would put another $40 million toward research and development of perovskites, a family of solar materials used in the production of low-cost thin-film solar cells. The department will split the $40 million among 22 perovskite development projects.

“In many parts of the country, solar is already cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels, and with more innovation we can cut the cost again by more than half within the decade,” Granholm said in a statement. “This first burst of funding will help us add even more affordable clean energy to the grid, jobs to communities across the country, and will put us on the fast track toward President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.”

With the Biden administration setting a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Granholm has announced a series of renewable energy loans as part of a program that was largely dormant under the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, a report released in mid-March by the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie projected solar installations will quadruple by the decade’s end. Solar accounted for the largest share of new electricity-generating capacity last year with 43 percent and is on track to reach a total of 419 gigawatts in capacity by 2030.

Tags cost reduction Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden Solar energy

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