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The Solar Energy Technologies Office’s Solar Blog features stories about the office, its awardees, and its work. Learn more.

June 30, 2020
sun sets over a rooftop solar installation
The Road to Resilience with Rooftop Solar
What happens to the electricity in your home during a power outage when you have rooftop solar panels installed?
April 7, 2020
First Solar Senior Vice President, Strategic Sourcing & Global Supply Chain, Jigish Trivedi (bottom right) shows Assistant Secretary Daniel R Simmons and Solar Energy Technologies Office Director Becca Jones-Albertus nearly finished photovoltaic modules.
Helping Drive Domestic Manufacturing
A top priority for EERE is supporting game-changing manufacturing innovations across multiple sectors, including American solar panel manufacturing.
April 7, 2020
The size of a garbage bin, Argonne’s thermal energy storage system can be scaled up or down to meet the needs of virtually any commercial application.
A Unique Heat Storage Technology Gathers Steam
An innovative system being developed at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory can quickly store heat and release it for use when needed.
December 9, 2019
Daniel Simmons speaks to a member of the Phase 3 Photovoltaics Solar Prize winning team.
American-Made Network: Launching Innovations
One of the ways the Energy Department is driving innovation in the solar technologies is through prizes such as the American-Made Challenges.
December 3, 2019
Organic photovoltaics (OPV) are lightweight solar cells made with carbon compounds that can be dissolved and solution-processed
PV Cells 101, Part 2: Solar Photovoltaic Cell Research Directions
Part 2 of the PV Cells 101 primer, exploring new materials and cell designs that can improve conversion and performance.
December 3, 2019
A silicon and perovskite tandem photovoltaic cell
PV Cells 101: A Primer on the Solar Photovoltaic Cell
Part 1 of the PV Cells 101 primer explains how a solar cell turns sunlight into electricity and why silicon is the semiconductor that usually does it.
July 18, 2019
EERE Solar District Cup
New Solar Design Competition Announced: Solar District Cup
Universities and community colleges can join the inaugural DOE Solar District Cup, to re-imagine how solar energy is generated, managed, and used.
March 11, 2019
Utility scale lithium ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) installation at Ft. Carson is paired with photovoltaic solar power
Solar-Plus-Storage 101
This blog post will explain the terminology around solar-plus-storage, how many solar-plus-storage systems are in the country, and what they cost.
February 27, 2019
activating american solar success story
Activating American Solar Movers and Makers
The solar industry is on the move—expanding into new states and creating new business opportunities across the country.
September 6, 2018
Sunrise at the 2MW CoServ Solar Station in Krugerville, Texas. Photo by Ken Oltmann/CoServ.
Research Helps Texas Renewables Work Better Together
New NREL research will help ERCOT better manage its solar power and integrate it with the 20 gigawatts of wind capacity already installed in the state
May 17, 2018
first solar aerial solar plant
Solar as the Solution: 3 Ways Solar Can Step Up its Grid Services Game
Solar energy provides as much as 15% of generation on the grid in some states, solar energy can provide grid services to maintain system balance.
May 9, 2018
Improvements to power electronics can extend system lifetime
Extending Solar Energy System Lifetime with Power Electronics
Power electronics are essential to the safe and efficient operation of solar PV systems, serving as a critical gateway between solar and the grid.
November 15, 2017
Sr. Scientist Sarah Kurtz gives a presentation to NREL Director Dan Arvizu, Dr. John Holdren, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Tech
Ask a Scientist - Dr. Sarah Kurtz
In this new blog series, we ask Energy Department researchers about their life as scientists working with energy efficiency and renewable energy.
November 3, 2017
Aerial photo of a concentrating solar power plant
Concentrating Solar Power Could Provide the Flexibility and Reliability the U.S. Electric Grid Needs
Developments in concentrating solar thermal power could improve grid flexibility by unlocking new choices to better meet grid operator needs.
October 12, 2017
The duck curve map that shows the difference in electricity demand and the amount of available solar energy throughout the day.
Confronting the Duck Curve: How to Address Over-Generation of Solar Energy
Energy Department research is taming the duck curve by helping utilities better balance energy supply and demand on the grid.
September 18, 2017
Picture of a solar collector technology known as ganged heliostats
New Solar Collector Tech Could Lower Costs for Concentrating Solar Power
For the first time ever, ganged heliostats could be a viable option for new concentrating solar power systems.
September 8, 2017
A home in the island town of Vinalhaven, Maine reaps the benefits of solar energy.
Step by Step: How SunShot Influences the “Going Solar” Process
Should I make the leap to solar energy? Is my home suitable for solar? Does it make financial sense to go solar? Who should I go to for installation?
August 14, 2017
The moon blocks the sun and creates an eclipse
Total Eclipse of the Sun: How Will Changing Solar Power Output Impact the Grid?
While only lasting about two minutes in each location, the eclipse will dramatically decrease output of photovoltaic power plants across the U.S.
August 9, 2017
Solar vaccine refrigeration that are easier to transport and also make ice.
4 Unusual Uses of Solar Power
As costs drop and energy production rises, solar technologies will be put to more work. Here are 4 unusual uses for solar power today.
August 7, 2017
wind turbine blades at sunset
Installed Capacity vs. Energy Generation: What's the Difference?
Capacity is the maximum output of electricity that a generator can produce. Generation is the amount of electricity that is produced over a set time.
August 2, 2017
A picture of a house with solar panels and a woman holding a solar panel
4 Fast Facts about Solar Prosumers
Four fast facts that every solar prosumer should know.
July 25, 2017
A look at a battery storage system inside a box.
Making Progress on Solar Energy Storage
The Energy Department is working toward maximizing the use of solar energy to produce electricity—even when the sun isn’t shining.
July 21, 2017
Snapping the Sun: 5 Tips for Capturing Compelling Solar Power Photos
Snapping the Sun: 5 Tips for Capturing Compelling Solar Power Photos
Learn how you can take the best photos for the “Hit Me with Your SunShot” contest!
July 11, 2017
An aerial view of a solar neighborhood.
Peeling Back the Red Tape to Go Solar
Interconnection times vary widely across the U.S. and can take several months to complete. These SunShot awardees are simplifying the solar process.
May 18, 2017
5 Concentrating Solar Power Technologies Impacting Industry
5 Concentrating Solar Power Technologies Impacting Industry

These five concentrating solar power technologies could have a big impact on industry in the next 10 years.