In recent notices, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of new grants for advances in photovoltaic (PV) solar panel and energy efficiency technology. Both new programs reflect the federal government’s continuing determination to support renewable energy clean tech development, notwithstanding widespread spending cutbacks.
• On August 2, DOE published news of a $50 million funding initiative for industrial-scale, demonstrated manufacturing processes capable of significantly lowering the cost per watt of solar energy within the next two years. Eligible technology includes PV modules, cells, substrates, or module components that can promote efforts to achieve a $1/watt system cost by 2020. The funding program is part of the Administration’s Sunshot Initiative. Applications are due by Oct. 28, 2011. More information can be found here.
• On July 21, President Obama and DOE Secretary Chu announced that DOE would give out $120 million for emerging manufacturing technologies and materials that dramatically increase energy efficiency. Two types of projects will qualify: (1) earlier-stage proposals, e.g., at the applied research or proof-of-concept phase; these must be completed within two years and are eligible for $1 million awards; and (2) later-stage efforts, such as those involving laboratory testing or prototype verification, which must be completed within three years and can receive grants up to $9 million. The solicitation encourages applicants to form partnerships (potentially including large and small companies, universities, trade organizations, national laboratories, and other research centers). The deadline for filing a letter of intent is Sept. 1, and full applications must be submitted by Oct. 5. Additional information is available here.