New Study Examines SunShot Initiative Progress
The U.S. Energy Department recently released the “On the Path to SunShot” reports examining the state of the U.S. solar energy industry.
The U.S. Energy Department recently released the “On the Path to SunShot” reports, a series of eight research papers examining the state of the U.S. solar energy industry and the progress made to date toward the SunShot Initiative’s goal to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by 2020. The solar industry is currently about 70% of the way toward achieving the initiative’s 2020 goals. However, as solar has become more affordable, helping the industry grow by 23-fold since the beginning of the Obama Administration, new challenges and opportunities have emerged.
The reports explore the lessons learned in the first five years of the 10-year initiative and identify key research, development, and market opportunities that can help to ensure that solar energy technologies are widely affordable and available to power millions more American homes and businesses. Among the conclusions from the study series, a recurring theme emerges that sustained innovation across all levels of the industry—from cell efficiency improvements, to faster and cheaper installation methods—will help to achieve the Energy Department’s SunShot goals.
“Solar energy is an integral part of our nation’s ongoing energy revolution,” said Ernest Moniz, Ph.D., U.S. Secretary of Energy. “The U.S. has over 10 times more solar installed today compared to 2011 when the SunShot Initiative was first launched, and the overall costs of solar energy have dropped by 65%. The administration’s continued efforts through the SunShot Initiative will help to further reduce costs to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for American families and businesses.”
Launched in 2011, the SunShot Initiative was created with the goal to reduce the cost of solar energy technologies by 75% within a decade across the residential, commercial, and utility-scale sectors. Since then, solar technologies, solar markets, and the solar industry have changed dramatically. The On the Path to SunShot series serves as a follow-up to the “2012 SunShot Vision Study,” which analyzed the economic and environmental benefits that would result from achieving SunShot’s 2020 goal. This new study series explores the areas of focus that could help the U.S. to achieve cost-competitive solar energy.
The On the Path to SunShot series was developed in collaboration with leading researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Argonne National Laboratory.
For more information, visit www.energy.gov.