Funding will accelerate R&D for solar and other clean energy technologies.
The Energy Department has allocated funds to accelerate research and development of clean, state-of-the-art technologies.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, the newly created Energy Materials Network (EMN) consortium “focuses on tackling one of the major barriers to widespread commercialization of clean energy technologies—namely, the design, testing, and production of advanced materials.” This “will help industry bring these materials to market more quickly.”
The development of advanced, low cost “PV module materials” is a key component of this initiative.
National labs, industry, and academia will collaborate in this effort.
The Energy Department argues that the EMN “will support the Administration’s commitment to revitalizing American manufacturing and maintaining a competitive edge in the clean energy economy.”
Other nations who compete with the United States for a share of the sustainable technologies market have for many years used government-supported research to advance the competitiveness of their industrial sector.
The EMN program should be welcomed by industry leaders in our country who have been lobbying our government to emulate the R&D efforts of these countries.
In addition to PV module research, the federal funding will finance and leverage financing for “next generation solar technology [and] the development of new tools, technologies, and services for the solar industry…”
Funding will also support research to develop new alloys and fibers that will increase automotive fuel efficiency; develop inexpensive replacements for platinum in hydrogen fuel cells, and develop new “’caloric’” refrigerant cooling technologies.
The announcement of these initiatives by the federal government is welcome news for our industry and for the country as a whole.
Energy Department Announces Up to $107 Million for Innovative Projects and New Funding to Advance Solar Technologies, Sept. 14, 2016;
Energy Department Launches Up to $30 Million Effort to Improve Solar Module Materials, Sept. 15, 2016;
U.S. Department of Energy Launches $40 Million Effort to Improve Materials for Clean Energy Solutions, Feb. 24, 2016.
OFFICE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY & RENEWABLE ENERGY