The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced $11m funding to 16 projects which aim to develop innovative and early-stage photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) solutions.

Under the Small Innovative Projects in Solar (SIPS) program, ten small-scale research and development (R&D) projects which are intended to push the limits of photovoltaics (PV) technologies are set to receive a combined funding of $2m.

The ten projects will work towards advancing the new cell and module architecture, efficiency, energy output, service lifetime, and manufacturability.

SIPS has been initiated to develop and support advancements towards leveling the solar electricity cost to approximately $0.02 to $0.03 per KW by 2030.

On the other hand, six CSP R&D projects, which focus on the most expensive component of a CSP plant, the collectors, have also received funding from the department.

These projects aim to make massive performance improvements and cost reductions in CSP technologies.

Through the SunShot's COLLECTS program, the six CSP projects are set to get around a total of $9 m funding.

The funding is aimed at facilitating design and manufacture of lower-cost solar collectors that are expected to give a cost-effective solution to a CSP power plant.

Launched in 2011 by DOE, the SunShot initiative focuses on reducing the cost of utility-scale solar to $0.06 per KW by 2020, without any subsidy.

To strengthen the country’s energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality, DOE has been working in collaboration with private industry, universities, and national laboratories to speed up both development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.