Solar Energy Research Areas
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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.
Systems integration research in SETO helps advance the reliable, resilient, secure, and affordable integration of solar energy onto the nation's grid.
Soft costs research in SETO addresses challenges associated with non-hardware cost components of a solar energy system.
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.
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.
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.
PV Innovation Roadmap
The 2017 Photovoltaics (PV) Innovation Roadmap sought feedback from PV stakeholders to improve PV cell and module technology.
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.
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.
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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