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SunShot Newsletter

This U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Newsletter is for our partners and industry stakeholders. It highlights the key activities, events, funding opportunities, and publications that the Solar Program has funded. We welcome your comments about the newsletter, so e-mail them to

March 24, 2014

SunShot Summit Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for the 2014 SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Peer Review. Visit the Grand Challenge Summit website today to access registration rates and instructions, the event program, useful resources, travel and venue information, and stay up-to-date on the latest Summit news and announcements. This year’s Summit will feature a variety of exhibits and sessions providing opportunities for learning and networking with more than 800 thought leaders and members of the U.S. solar community. Register today.

White House Seeks Solar “Champions of Change”
The White House Champions of Change program regularly highlights the ordinary Americans from across the country who are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.  To celebrate individuals who are taking action on solar and distributed energy generation across the country, the White House will soon honor solar Champions of Change. Learn more here and submit your nomination by 5:00pm on Friday, April 4.

SunShot Announces New Incubator Awardees
Last week, the Energy Department announced $2.2 million for three California-based small businesses to continue driving down both the hardware and non-hardware “soft costs” of solar, such as permitting and installation. This funding is part of the eighth round of the SunShot Incubator Program, which helps startup businesses and entrepreneurs develop technologies, innovative programs, and streamlined processes that will make solar more accessible for American families and businesses. Learn more.
5 Questions for Scientist Dr. Lidija Sekaric of the SunShot Initiative
Dr. Lidija Sekaric manages the SunShot Initiative’s Technology to Market Program. Her team’s portfolios span business incubation programs for start-ups, technology commercialization pathways, innovation in manufacturing, cost analysis, and strategic programs and analysis. Prior to joining SunShot, she served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Energy and as a technical and market advisor on some of the world’s largest distributed solar generation projects. Learn more about what inspired Dr. Sekaric to work in STEM and what she’s excited about today.
Blog Post: Solar Industry Scorches Records
A new report on the solar power industry signals a major milestone for America’s clean energy economy. According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year in Review 2013 report, photovoltaic (PV) installations continue their impressive growth, increasing 41% over 2012 to 4,751 megawatts (MW) of installed power in the U.S. Today, there are more than 440,000 operating solar electric systems in the U.S., totaling more than 12 gigawatts of PV and 918 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP)—nearly fifteen times the amount installed in 2008. Read more.
Shining Stars of Solar: Meet Three SunShot Postdoctoral Award Recipients Who Are Making a Difference
Are you a recent Ph.D. graduate with an interest in solar energy? Even if your background is in social sciences or computer science, you can play a big role in helping EERE tackle some of America’s biggest energy challenges.  This year, the EERE Postdoctoral Research Award Program offers recent Ph.D. recipients the opportunity to conduct applied solar energy research and development at universities, national laboratories, and other research facilities. Research topics vary from applying behavioral science insights to solar energy deployment, to using big data to break down market barriers such as soft costs, to innovative material sciences research focusing on PV or CSP. Read more about the experience of three former awardees, and then apply today.
NREL Seeks PV Research Proposals
NREL is pursuing collaborative research projects with the PV industry and universities under the Non-Proprietary Partnering Opportunity (NPO) program. The NPO program now includes access to the full range of NREL’s PV capabilities, in addition to NREL’s PV measurement and characterization resources. The program also provides limited support for Ph.D. graduate students and post-doctoral associates to work on-site with NREL PV researchers on the proposed project. The focus of the NPO program is on publishing results that will advance scientific understanding in critical areas of PV technology development. Applications are due April 15. Learn more.