The Department of Energy Announces $200 Million for Solar and Water Power

Funding Seeks to Accelerate the Development of Solar and Water Power Technologies Throughout U.S.

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted April 23, 2010

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the DOE will invest more than $200 million over five years in order to expand and accelerate the development, commercialization, and use of solar and water power technologies across the United States.

The funding will create American manufacturing jobs and a workforce with the required technical training to speed the implementation of renewable technologies.

The investments allot money to various sectors of the renewable energy industry.

The Photovoltaic Manufacturing initiative will receive up to $125 million over the next five years, to be put towards manufacturing-focused research projects that will have near and mid-term impact on the U.S. solar industry.

The $125 million to be granted to the PV Manufacturing initiative will be available in two topic areas: University-Focused development and Industry-Focused development.

Both topics will consider collaborative research models to provide maximum leverage to federal funding.

The amount of $40 million over the next three years will be given to photovoltaic supply chain development.

This funding will be focused on identifying and accelerating unique processes for the PV supply chain that will have a major impact on the industry.

The department will select both large and small companies that are able to quickly develop new PV supply chain solutions.

The DOE's goal is to achieve cost-competitive solar PV systems compared with conventional forms of electricity.

Over the next five years, $4.5 million in funding will go towards selecting a national administrator that will act as a central coordinating body for the training network.

The network was created in 2009 by the DOE to establish high-quality, local, and accessible training for personnel involved in all aspects of solar PV and solar heating and cooling systems.

The national administrator will use the $4.5 million to manage the collaboration of the training network members and distribute their products.

The organization will also serve as a national point of contact for the training network and will address any issues related to solar training and workforce development.

The DOE plans to invest $39 million of the overall $200 million in Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies (MHK) over the next four years.

The investment in MHK will accelerate the technological advancement and commercial readiness of emerging water-power technologies that can produce cost-competitive energy by harnessing the energy of waves, currents, tides, and free-flowing rivers.

The funding opportunity hopes to leverage private-sector investments in MHK technologies and effectively transition leading MHK system and component designs towards commercialization.

Secretary Chu and the DOE believe that these investments will help strengthen American competitiveness in renewable energy and transform the United States into a lasting manufacturing presence in the emerging clean-energy economy.

Until next time,