The US Energy Department is providing $30m funding to 12 projects to develop transformational hybrid solar energy technologies that deliver cost-effective power when the sun is not shining.
These projects will help advance
solar energy beyond current PV and concentrated solar power technologies to
drive lower-cost, reliable solar energy deployment, according to Energy
Secretary Ernest Moniz.
The Advanced Research Projects
Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies
that are too early for private-sector investment. Funding awardees are unique
in that they are developing entirely new ways to generate, store and use
The projects are part of ARPA-E’s
Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program,
which is aimed at developing new hybrid solar energy converters and hybrid
energy storage systems that can deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy
Under the FOCUS program, the projects
will produce heat that can be stored at low cost for later use, as well as
innovative storage systems that accept both heat and electricity from variable
“The Energy Department is working
across the industry to help our country’s top engineers, scientists and
entrepreneurs bring new solar innovations to market faster,” says Moniz.
The US installed a record 2.3GW
of utility-scale solar in 2013.