The US Energy Department has announced more than $59m funding for the country’s solar energy sector in the hope of doubling renewable power generation by 2020.
Out of this funding, $45m will be used to introduce innovative solar manufacturing technologies to market, and the remaining $14m will be invested into 15 new solar development projects.
The projects are expected to assist communities in constructing multi-year solar deployment plans for solar power installations for households, businesses, and communities.
The developments will involve either expansion of shared or community solar programmes and local financing mechanisms, or integration of solar power generation plans into communities’ emergency response initiatives.
It is likely that the projects will be replicated in the future to turn solar deployment easier, economical, and less time-consuming.
The ‘technology to market’ plan is a part of the Energy Department’s clean energy manufacturing initiative, which aims to push competitiveness, and support strong clean energy manufacturing sector in the country.
The federal funding is expected to push businesses and communities to opt for solar power by offering cost-competitive alternatives, and assist them to overcome technical, regulatory, and financial challenges.
Energy secretary Ernest Moniz said: "As President Obama noted in his State of the Union address, the US brings as much solar power online every three weeks as we did in all of 2008.
"As the price of solar continues to drop, the Energy Department is committed to supporting a robust domestic solar manufacturing sector that will help American businesses meet growing demand, and help American families and businesses save money by making solar a cheaper and more accessible source of clean electricity."
More than 17GW of solar power has been installed in the country, which is enough for 3.5 million average households.
Image: US Energy Department to invest more than $59m to boost solar energy sector. Photo: courtesy of franky242 /Freedigitalphotos.net.