The US Energy Department has announced $25 million in funding to advance concentrating solar power (CSP) system technologies. This investment will fund research and development projects to improve the performance and increase the efficiency of all components of CSP plants, ultimately lowering the cost of solar electricity. “Investments to improve the efficiency and lower the costs of concentrating solar power technologies enhance our ability to deliver affordable solar-generated electricity to American families and businesses, while also moving us closer to achieving President Obama’s goal of doubling renewable energy generation again by the end of the decade,” said David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
This funding opportunity builds on the success of past DoE investments in solar energy technologies and will fund transformative projects for all types of CSP systems to enable cost-competitive CSP electric power generation. It targets R&D in technologies with the potential for much lower cost, higher efficiency, and more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial CSP systems.
Eligible projects may include developing transformative solutions to break through current performance barriers, such as efficiency and temperature limitations, and projects to demonstrate or prove new concepts for CSP plant components. Key components targeted for advancements include solar collectors, receivers, thermal energy storage systems, heat transfer fluids, and other technologies that will lower operations and maintenance costs or achieve system-wide cost efficiencies.