March 25 (UPI) — Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced Thursday $128 million in new solar energy initiatives.
Granholm made the announcement during a virtual webinar, also featuring a virtual solar technology tour.
She said the $128 million would go toward research and deployment of new solar materials for cutting-edge technologies that drive the cost down to meet the target of 3 cents per kilowatt hour by 2025 and a new goal of 2 cents per kilowatt hour by 2030.
The new goal “would cut the current cost of solar by more than half within this decade,” Granholm added.
Among the $128 million in investments, is $40 million for photovoltaics and concentrating solar-thermal power research and development projects and $25 million to build a demonstration for a next-generation CSP plant. It also includes $40 million for perovskite technologies, which have shown potential for high efficiency and low production costs, according to the Department of Energy.
The remaining investments include $20 million for a new consortium to advance CdTe thin-film solar cell technologies and $3 million in prize competition to help entrepreneurs launch new businesses to accelerate commercialization of perovskite solar technologies.
“It is obviously the opportunity to finally wage a full out war on the climate crisis,” Granholm said during the webinar. “It is an opportunity to claim America’s share of that global clean energy market. It is an opportunity to create millions of jobs for our workers and to direct the benefits of that opportunity into communities that have been left behind.”
Granholm added that President Joe Biden has set goals of 100% clean energy by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“One of the fastest and the easiest really paths to these goals is through solar,” Granholm said.