Solar Blog

You are here

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

April 26, 2017
Solar Jobs: State of the States
Solar Jobs: State of the States

A breakdown of the data released by The Solar Foundation shows where solar jobs are located and which parts of the value chain are seeing the most...

April 24, 2017
5 of the Fastest Growing Jobs in Clean Energy
5 of the Fastest Growing Jobs in Clean Energy

More than 6 million Americans work in the energy sector and a huge percentage of the new jobs are in renewable energy and efficiency. Here's 5 of...

March 21, 2017
Solar Blog
Gearing up the Grid for Greater Solar Deployment

SunShot's Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) program educates thousands of grid engineers and university...

March 14, 2017
Solar Blog
3 Cool Ways to Finance Community Solar Projects

Decided to go solar? Here's how to pay for it. The SunShot Initiative highlights three ways teams are financing community solar projects.

March 1, 2017
On Display: Smithsonian Shares the History of Solar
On Display: Smithsonian Shares the History of Solar

The addition of a record-setting 14.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy onto the grid made 2016 a historic year for solar, with a total of more than...

February 16, 2017
Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy winners offer their advice to help energy inventors take their innovations to the next level.
Words of Wisdom from 6 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy Winners
Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy winners offer their advice to help energy inventors take their innovations to the next level. The Energy Department's ...
February 8, 2017
5 Ways Cities Can Benefit from SunShot’s Latest Solar Prize Challenge
The solar industry is growing fast. Despite this rapid growth, solar energy remains inaccessible to nearly half of American households and business...
February 1, 2017
The ENERGISE funding program will help improve the way utilities are able to plan and operate the distribution grid with high levels of solar. | Photo courtesy: Western Area Power
Talk to the Panel: Communication and Analytics Help Utilities Scale Up Solar Installations

This may come as a surprise to most people: utilities don’t have real-time information about their customers’ electricity usage. When someone adds...

January 17, 2017
Westby, Wisconsin, is home to Clean Energy Collective's 305-kilowatt Vernon Electric Community Solar Farm. | Photo Courtesy: Clean Energy Collective
Removing Rooftop Roadblocks: Solar Accessibility Soars Under SunShot

You can now go solar even if you don't have a suitable roof. Community solar programs — which allow multiple people to invest in solar together and...

January 5, 2017
At the Regional Test Center in Williston, Vermont, researchers are examining how framed (in the background) and frameless (in the foreground) solar photovoltaic modules handle snowy conditions. | Photo Courtesy: Sandia National Laboratories
Let it Snow: How Solar Panels Can Thrive in Winter Weather

Winter is here and many parts of the country have already seen snow. Although at first blush it may seem that solar power is ideal for the summer,...

December 23, 2016
Cloudy skies curb solar production, but new technologies can help. | <em>Photo credit: Tristan Twisselman/BHE Renewables</em>
Accurate Solar Energy Forecasting Could Save Ratepayers Millions

More accurate solar forecasting — day-ahead predictions of solar energy generation levels — could save American ratepayers millions of dollars. But...

November 21, 2016
Making solar energy system information public helps solar companies and customers alike.
Sharing the Wealth: Providing Access to More Solar Data

For the first time ever, the latest edition of the Tracking the Sun report is publicly sharing the data used in the report analysis, which is a win...

November 18, 2016
Solar Blog
New Analysis Shows National Potential for Solar Power in Low-Income Communities

Solar power is now more affordable in the United States than at any other point in history, and new analysis shows it has the potential to gain...

October 21, 2016
SunShot's social sciences research is helping to explore the forces behind solar adoption in the United States. | Photo courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Insights into Consumer Preferences Mirrored in Powerful Solar Software Platforms

The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is taking new steps to reduce solar energy costs. Social sciences research is helping to explore the...

October 7, 2016
Making Our Solar Future with American Manufacturing

Every second that ticks by, six solar cells come off U.S. manufacturing lines that contain crystalline silicon. In 10 years, the Energy Department...

October 4, 2016
Construction workers build the frame for a 1-megawatt solar microgrid project at Fort Hunter Liggett, California. | <em>Photo courtesy of U.S. Army/Carlos J. Lazo</em>
Revolution...Now Rewind: Modernizing the Grid to Accelerate a Solar-Powered Future

As the recently released Revolution..Now report details, the declining cost of solar power has enabled a massive increase in the amount of solar...

September 28, 2016
6 Charts that Will Make You Optimistic About America’s Clean Energy Future
6 Charts that Will Make You Optimistic About America’s Clean Energy Future

How wind, solar, LEDs and electric vehicles are leading the way in America's clean energy revolution, visualized in six simple charts.

September 16, 2016
Solar Blog
Getting the Most out of Solar Panels

Our SunShot Initiative is funding important research into how to get more power out of solar panels by improving their durability, efficiency and...

September 14, 2016
A 250-megawatt solar project on the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians’ Moapa River Reservation in Nevada. This project was one of the first utility-scale solar project on tribal land.
Dropping Pins: SunShot Incubator Software Startups Put Solar on the Map

The software space is a growing market for small startups to thrive in the solar industry. These companies help to address crucial information gaps...

September 13, 2016
Solar homes on the Helemano Military Reservation in Hawaii generate electricity that the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) integrates onto the island’s electric grid. | <em> Photo courtesy of HECO </em>
Collaboration Station: Utility and Solar Company Partnerships Further Solar’s Reach

Earlier this year, the solar industry passed a key milestone: 1 million solar installations are connected to the nation’s electricity grid. Now, we...

September 12, 2016
Charlie Gay Joins the SunShot Initiative to Leave a Lasting Impact

The SunShot Initiative welcomes Dr. Charlie Gay, the program’s new director, a solar industry pioneer who has witnessed its rise from a niche...

August 29, 2016
National Lab Research: Leading the Way to a Future Powered by Solar

Over the past 50 years, the Energy Department's national laboratories have played a major role in the advancement of solar energy technology. That...

August 4, 2016
Giant Leap Technologies uses microfluidics to bend light toward a solar at the top of the plant. Each solar thermal power plant shown is a football field in size.  |  <em>Photo courtesy of Giant Leap Technologies</em>
Cutting-Edge Science Drives SunShot Projects

The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative funds cutting-edge science that helps dramatically reduce the cost of solar energy. Drawn from...

July 28, 2016
Paying For Solar – Tips For Financing a Residential System

After you’ve made the decision to go solar, the next step is figuring out how to pay for it. Assuming you don’t have the cash to buy your solar...

July 27, 2016
Solar homes are being sold across the country, but they can be hard to find and compare. Teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Elevate Energy are working to ensure that solar is properly represented in multiple listing services. | Photos courtesy of Solar Design Associates, Namaste Solar Electric, and Decker Homes
Shopping for a Solar Home Made Easy — SunShot and the Future of Solar Home-Buying

Solar homes are being sold across the country, but they can be hard to find and compare. Teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and...