Issue Date: September 3, 2012
Energy Department Targets Solar Tech
The Department of Energy last week announced two new investments in solar energy: a $10.0 million effort to advance concentrating solar power systems and a $3.5 million effort to reduce the cost of solar power technologies. Both are part of the agency’s SunShot Initiative to make solar energy cost-competitive with other energy sources by 2020. Under the first investment, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Arizona will each get $5.0 million over five years to improve heat-transfer fluids used to gather thermal energy from sunlight and carry it to a power block, where the energy drives a turbine and generates electricity. To reduce the cost of solar energy technologies, DOE has awarded two grants totaling $900,000 to set up research partnerships at the agency’s Scientific User Facilities. In addition, some $2.6 million in the form of three awards will go to developing research programs at these user facilities.
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