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The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) funds solar energy research and development efforts in five main categories: photovoltaics, concentrating solar-thermal power, systems integration, soft costs, and manufacturing and competitiveness. The R&D projects funded by SETO aim to improve the affordability, performance, and value of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more about SETO’s goals here.

Explore each of the research areas below and the research topics within them. You can also learn about the basics of solar energy here and find solar energy resources here.

The Solar office supports development of low-cost, high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) technologies to make solar power more accessible.
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Systems Integration
Systems integration research in SETO helps advance the reliable, resilient, secure, and affordable integration of solar energy onto the nation's grid.
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Soft Costs
Soft costs research in SETO addresses challenges associated with non-hardware cost components of a solar energy system.
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Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power
SETO supports CSP research and development to improve the performance, reduce the cost, and improve the lifetime and reliability of CSP technologies.
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Manufacturing and Competitiveness
SETO supports solar manufacturing and competitiveness R&D to develop pathways to commercialization for disruptive innovation in the solar industry.
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SETO Research Priorities and Highlights

Various publications from SETO explain the office’s activities, projects, and goals. Explore them below.

2020 SETO Portfolio Book
The 2020 SETO Portfolio book highlights the office's active projects that are working to lower the cost of solar-generated electricity.
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SETO 2020 Peer Review Report
This report highlights the findings of an independent, third-party panel of solar experts who reviewed the SETO portfolio.
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2018 SETO Portfolio Book
The 2018 SETO Portfolio Book outlines the progress the office has made in lowering the cost of electricity generated from solar technologies.
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2018 SETO Peer Review Report
The 2018 SETO Portfolio Review was held in February 2018. Independent reviewers evaluated each of the projects. This report details reviewer findings.
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PV Innovation Roadmap
The 2017 Photovoltaics (PV) Innovation Roadmap sought feedback from PV stakeholders to improve PV cell and module technology.
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Concentrating Solar Power Gen3 Demonstration Roadmap
This roadmap addresses and prioritizes research and development gaps and lays out the pathway for advancing CSP.
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On the Path to SunShot
On the Path to SunShot is a series of eight reports that examines the lessons learned in the first five years of the SunShot Initiative.
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SunShot 2030
The SunShot 2030 goals aim to cut the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from utility-scale solar by an additional 50% between 2020 and 2030.
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SunShot Vision Study
The SunShot Vision Study assesses the potential for solar technologies to meet a significant share of U.S. electricity demand in the next few decades.
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