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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Equitable Access to Solar Energy
Despite unprecedented solar deployment, many Americans still lack access to affordable solar electricity. SETO funds research to improve solar access for all.
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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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Solar Workforce Development
Solar workforce development includes online training, on-the-job training, curriculum development, and other activities that prepare people for solar.
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SETO Research Priorities and Highlights

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