Fast becoming the funding mechanism through which solar energy research expands, the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, which aims to bring down the cost of electricity generated via solar power, has announced its latest investment in the field. In May we reported that SunShot announced a funding opportunity to further the development of so-called “plug and play” photovoltaic systems. Now SunShot is looking to larger solar projects.
In a recent press release, the “Energy Department announced new investments for 21 total projects to further advance cutting-edge concentrating solar power technologies (CSP). The awards span 13 states for a total of $56 million over three years, subject to congressional appropriations.” As noted in a recent article on our site, renewable energy lacks the energy density to compete with nonreweable sources like oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear. CSP may be a way to remedy some of the issues associated with the lack of power.
Several large scale projects are underway in the United States and Spain. In part, CSP is credited with helping boost the total investment in solar energy. Read the recent post about the rise in worldwide renewable energy investments to find out more.
Like many large scale renewable energy projects (consider giant wind farms – on and off shore – and hydroelectric dams), there are potential ecological issues to consider.