Solar Energy Technologies Program – 2008-2012 MYPP
A Letter from the Program Manager
April 2008 Washington, D.C. Welcome to the 2008-2012 Multi-Year Program Plan for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Program (Solar Program). The Solar Program is responsible for carrying out the Federal role in researching, developing, demonstrating and deploying solar energy technologies. This document presents a look inside the Solar Program’s plans for the next five years, as well as the areas of work that we intend to emphasize. The Solar Program is driven by the Solar America Initiative (SAI), a Presidential initiative launched in 2007 with the goal of achieving grid-parity for solar electricity produced by photovoltaic (PV) systems across the nation by 2015 - making the SAI a nine-year effort. This plan covers years two through six of the SAI, which can be considered the core of the initiative. The activities covered within this plan highlight what efforts the Solar Program will undertake to reach the SAI goal. We will not, however, reach the SAI goal alone. During the first year of the SAI, the Solar Program was able to lay the initial foundation for success through aggressive research and development (R&D) efforts in collaboration with private industry and national laboratories, and expanded that effort to universities in early 2008. Simultaneously, the program launched a groundbreaking market transformation effort to help commercialize solar technologies by targeting and eliminating market barriers to solar energy, as well as promoting deployment opportunities, through partnerships with cities, companies, non-profits, and universities. The 2008-2012 activities detailed herein build off of these early successes of the SAI. Several areas of emphasis characterize the 2008-2012 timeframe: 1.
Fully incorporating concentrating solar power (CSP) efforts into the SAI. 2.
Improving storage technologies for both CSP and PV technologies. 3.
Better integrating solar technologies into the electric grid, in both distributed and centralized generation applications. 4.
Eliminating city and state level technical and regulatory barriers to solar technology deployment. 5.
Improving the ability of DOE and its laboratories and partners to quickly and effectively transfer R&D concepts from basic to applied science and then to the marketplace. 6.
Exploring and developing the next generation of PV technologies that will reach consumers beyond the SAI timeframe (post-2015). 7.
Assisting U.S. industry in regaining its leadership role in the global solar marketplace. 8.
Promoting increased understanding of environmental and organizational safety across all Solar Program activities by all participants.