The US Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled an ambitious new target to reduce the cost of solar energy by 60% within the next decade.
It has announced nearly $128 million (£93m) in funding to lower costs, improve performance and speed up the deployment of solar energy technologies.
To reach that goal over the next 15 years, “hundreds of gigawatts” of solar energy need to be installed as much as five times faster than it is now.
Therefore, the DOE is setting a new goal of driving down the current cost of 4.6 cents/kWh to 3 cents/kWh by 2025 and 2 cents/kWh by 2030.
It believes traditional solar panels, which convert sunlight into electrical energy using PV solar technologies, could represent between 30% and 50% of power supply in a decarbonised electricity sector by 2035.
Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said: “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.
“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.”
The DOE has also announced $7 million (£5m) as part of a new funding opportunity for projects to increase the lifetime of silicon-based PV systems from around 30 years to 50 years to lower the cost of energy and reduce waste.
The aim is to improve PV system components, such as inverters, connectors, cables, racks and trackers.