Solar- Research and Development

What Is The Sunshot Initiative

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About the SunShot Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office focuses on achieving the goals of the SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade.

-What we do
-How We Work
– SunShot Success Stories
-Why it matters


Concentrating Solar Power

The SunShot Initiative supports research and development of concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies that reduce the cost of solar energy. CSP helps to achieve the SunShot Initiative cost targets with systems that can supply solar power on demand, even when there is no sunlight, through the use of thermal storage. Since SunShot’s inception, the levelized cost of electricity for CSP has decreased about 36 percent, from $0.21 cents per kilowatt hour to $0.13 cents per kilowatt hour, already over half of the way toward achieving SunShot’s 2020 goal of $0.06 per kilowatt hour…Continue Reading>>



The SunShot Initiative supports the research and development of photovoltaic (PV) technologies to improve efficiency and reliability and to lower manufacturing costs in order to drive down the cost of solar electricity. As of November 2016, the solar industry is about 90% of the way to achieving SunShot’s 2020 cost target of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour for utility-scale PV (based on 2010 baseline figures), and SunShot is already beginning to work toward $0.03 per kilowatt-hour for utility-scale PV by 2030…Continue Reading>>


Systems Integration

The Systems Integration (SI) program seeks to enable the widespread deployment of safe, reliable, and cost effective solar energy on the nation’s electricity grid by addressing the associated technical and regulatory challenges…Continue Reading>>



Soft Costs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative’s soft costs program works to lower the non-hardware costs of solar and accelerate the adoption of solar energy technologies throughout the United States. In support of the SunShot Initiative goals, the soft costs program works in the following strategic areas: networking and technical assistance, data analysis, business innovation, and trainingContinue reading>>


Technology To Market

The SunShot Initiative’s Technology to Market subprogram builds on SunShot’s record of moving groundbreaking and early-stage technologies and business models to the market. Technology to Market targets two known funding gaps: those that occur at the prototype commercialization stage and those at the commercial scale-up stage…Continue reading>>



SunShot Solar Projects Map
engage with interactive map>>  SOLAR- sunshot projects interactive map 16
The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative funds projects by private companies, universities, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity. We work to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for Americans to choose solar energy in their daily lives. Learn more about SunShot’s work.

See our active and recently inactive projects in the map below. You can sort the projects by program area, active/inactive status or funding program on the left. In the table below, you can sort and filter the projects in additional ways. Click on the awardee name for detailed project information. Press the reset button on the map to clear your filters…Continue reading>>



Technology  SOLAR- research1
The power of the sun’s radiant energy is what makes life on earth possible. Efforts to harness it in concentrated form and direct it to man’s ends have long been a human pursuit. The current state of technology generally uses two approaches: solar thermal collectors and the more complex design and manufacture of photovoltaic cells. …Continue reading>>






Today, solar energy provides three-tenths of 1 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States.[1] While the amount of utility-scale solar electricity capacity in the US has increased in recent years—rising from 334.2 megawatts in 1997 to 6,220.3 megawatts in 2013 , it still only accounts for 0.2% of net utility-scale electricity generated in the United States – the least among the renewable sources. ...Learn more>>    






Efforts to expand solar capacity face several challenges. One of the most significant impediments to solar power, like wind power, involves the availability of its source. Solar radiation is rarely constant and varies with changing atmospheric conditions (clouds and dust), and the changing position of the Earth relative to the sun (day and night). Solar energy is also relatively weak because.  Learn more>>  





SOLAR- R&D Consumption


For the foreseeable future, solar energy is likely to make up a very small part of our overall energy mix because its costs and reliability place it at a disadvantage to other forms of electrical generation. However, it may gain favor in isolated applications for certain uses, and its use has been growing as government mandates compel consumers to use more renewable forms of energy without regard to cost. …Learn more>>



 Photovoltaic Research

Photovoltaic (PV) research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) focuses on boosting solar cell conversion efficiencies, lowering the cost of solar cells, modules, and systems, and improving the reliability of PV components and systems. NREL’s PV effort…Learn more>>

– Photovoltaic Research
– Concentrating Solar Power Research
– Solar Grid and Systems Integration
– Solar Market Research and Analysis


Advanced Research & Development
Today’s energy world requires dynamic, innovative thinking and the flexibility to rapidly accommodate changing market demands. The solar photovoltaics (PV) industry has advanced significantly in recent years, yet the PV world of tomorrow has only been imagined….Learn more>>


Solar Research Links

-Solar Power Market Research & Consulting
-State Solar Programs & Policies
-International Solar Organizations
-Solar Installation Codes, Standards & Certification