Energy Department Announces Progress Toward 2020 SunShot Goal

Nov. 16, 2016
After just five years, the U.S. solar industry is more than 90% of the way to meeting a goal to reduce the cost of utility-scale solar PV electricity by 2020.

After just five years, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s SunShot Initiative and the U.S. solar industry are more than 90 percent of the way to meeting the goal to reduce the cost of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2020.

Utility-scale solar electricity costs now average 7 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The program is 70 percent of its way to meeting 2020 commercial- and residential-cost targets in just five years.

The new SunShot targets are 3 cents per kilowatt-hour for utility-scale PV, 4 cents per kilowatt-hour for commercial PV, and 5 cents per kilowatt-hour for residential PV by 2030. These targets are for areas with average U.S. climate and without subsidies.

"Both SunShot and the solar industry have made major strides to reduce costs for innovative technologies, which resulted in dramatic market growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of American jobs," Acting Assistant Secretary David Friedman said. "These new goals and funding will further push down costs, save American consumers and businesses money, and create even more jobs."

To support the new goals, the DOE is accepting applications for funding under the SunShot Initiative's PV Research and Development, Technology to Market, and Systems Integration programs. All three programs seek projects that can help to cut the cost of solar power to meet the new 2030 SunShot cost targets and make solar power more affordable and accessible for every American. Up to $25 million is available through the PV Research and Development Program to improve PV-module and system design, including hardware and software solutions that facilitate the rapid installation and interconnection of PV systems. Meanwhile, $30 million is available through the Technology to Market Program for projects that accelerate the commercialization of products and solutions that can help to drive down the cost of solar energy. Lastly, up to $10 million is available under the Systems Integration Program for projects focused on improving solar irradiance and power forecasts used by utilities.