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Solar News

US Funding New Solar Energy Technologies


In an effort to promote sustainable business development, the federal government has taken to funding innovative technologies that will increase solar energy's efficiency and scope of applications. At the beginning of 2010, the Obama administration and the Department of Energy announced funding of  $2.3 billion tax credits to 183 companies for new clean energy technology initiatives. 

Receiving more than $800 million dollars in grants for the developing and deployment of new technologies, innovative solar technology firms have been given the opportunity to shine. The US Department of Energy believes the increased investment from tax credits and competitive growth in the solar industry will make solar technology cost competitive with conventional energy supplies by 2015. A large portion of the tax credits appropriated to solar technologies will be used to expand the manufacturing base of solar modules, silicon processing facilities, and semiconductor manufacturers within the US.

The initiative includes credits to start up firms which are pioneering the next generation of solar technologies. Many of the innovations funded by this project will have a direct impact on the residential and small business consumers in coming years; here are a few highlighted projects from the initiative that SolarTown is excited about:

Abound Solar, located in Colorado, specializes in low cost cadmium-telluridium thin film solar modules received $12.6 million dollars from the initiative for technological research and business development of this economical and efficient photovoltaic.

Amonix Inc received $3.6 million dollars to develop low-cost solar electricity systems using inexpensive plastic lenses that concentrate sunlight.  The systems have the potential to generate 500 times more solar electric power from small, high efficiency solar cells than conventional solar modules on the market today.

Green Ray Solar, a Westford, Massachusetts firm received $186,000 to fund development of its plug and play AC solar systems for residential rooftops. Green Ray's streamlined, integrated system eliminates both the need for an external charge controller and power inverter, making them easy and cheap to install.

The clean energy technology investment initiative is a much needed catalyst in an industrial sector that is poised to make solar a viable competitor in the energy market, while providing American jobs in a sustainable and growing industry. This injection of investment by the federal government is a strong indicator that solar technology will play an integral role in clean energy development. We look forward to the cutting edge technologies becoming available, and the deployment of these scientific breakthroughs on our roofs in the coming years.