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The Biden administration Thursday announced a goal to cut solar energy costs by 60% over the next decade as part of a plan to decarbonize the United States’ power sector by 2035.
The U.S. Department of Energy stated that the target speeds up its previous utility-scale solar cost target five years.
A key pillar of President Joe Biden’s climate change agenda is for the U.S. power grid to run entirely on clean energy within 15 years. This means that solar energy will need to be installed as much as five times faster than it is today, the Energy Department said.
To get there, the department will commit to spending $128 million on technologies such as perovskite solar cells, regarded as a promising cheap alternative to the silicon cells used worldwide.
Funds will also support the investigation of substances such as cadmium telluride as well as concentrating solar technologies.
Part of the funding also seeks to expand the lifetime of existing solar power plants by improving components such as racks, inverters, and cables.
The Energy Department is aiming to help lower solar power costs by 60% over the next decade as the Biden administration looks to greatly speed up deployment of solar and other climate-friendly sources. https://t.co/psMbp3Xg8Z
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement that “this first burst of funding will help us add even more affordable clean energy to the grid, jobs to communities across the country, and will put us on the fast track toward President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035."
Solar power generation costs have dropped more than 80% over the past ten years, making it competitive with plants powered by fossil fuels (coal and natural gas).
According to government data, solar energy now comprises the largest share of new generating capacity in the United States annually.
This is not the first ambition target the Energy Department has set; in 2017, the federal agency reported that solar costs had hit a goal three years ahead of schedule due to expanded production in China.