Plan to cut solar costs by 60% unveiled by U.S. energy agency

Solar panels Source: Pixabay

The Biden administration announced Thursday an effort to slash the cost of solar energy by 60 per cent within the next decade, a feat officials said was essential to achieving the president’s goal of 100 per cent clean energy by 2035.

The solar goal, being implemented by the Energy Department, calls for reducing utility-scale solar energy’s current cost of 4.6 cents per kilowatt-hour to 3 cents by 2025 and 2 cents by 2030.

“In many parts of the country, solar is already cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels, and with more innovation we can cut the cost again by more than half within the decade,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement.

To help achieve the new goal, the department announced $128 million in new funding aimed at lowering the power source’s cost, improving its performance, and speeding its deployment. Most of the money will go to research on thin-film solar and concentrating solar-thermal technologies.

The cost of utility-scale solar fell to 6 cents a kilowatt hour in 2017, meeting a goal set by former President Barack Obama in 2011.

Hundreds of gigawatts of solar energy will need to be installed at a rate five-times faster than the current one to achieve President Joe Biden’s call for a carbon-free electric grid by 2035, according to the Energy Department.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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