what's next for solar

The Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2019 funding program (SETO FY2019) funds research projects that advance early-stage solar technologies that will lower electricity costs, boost U.S. solar manufacturing, reduce red tape associated with installing solar energy systems, and make solar systems more resilient to cyberattack. These projects will help the office improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar energy on the national grid.

On November 6, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $128 million in funding for 75 projects.


This funding program seeks to advance technologies that will help SETO reach its 2030 cost targets while enabling utilities to manage a grid with increasing amounts of solar.

To view a list of projects, please view the following pages:

  • Photovoltaics (PV) Research and Development
    PV projects will improve the performance, cost, and reliability of technologies currently on the market, work with new materials that can lower the cost of PV-generated electricity, and explore ways to increase the lifetime energy output from PV arrays. Some will be small, targeted projects that will deliver results in one year. 
  • Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power (CSP) Research and Development
    CSP projects will develop thermal storage technologies to make solar energy available on demand, as well as manufacturing and autonomous operational technologies that reduce the cost and improve performance of CSP plants.
  • Balance of Systems Soft Cost Reduction
    Soft costs projects seek to reduce financing burdens and permitting challenges for solar and solar-plus-storage systems, which increase costs for solar developers and consumers. They will also develop strategic plans and decision-making tools that enhance cybersecurity solutions.
  • Innovations in Manufacturing – Hardware Incubator
    Incubator projects are designed to bring new technologies to the U.S. solar manufacturing sector. They are product ideas by for-profit companies that will reduce the cost of solar electricity, have potential for rapid commercialization, and are likely to attract investors.
  • Advanced Solar Systems Integration Technologies
    Systems integration projects will create technologies that ease the integration of solar energy onto the U.S. grid, especially in areas where solar could supply a high percentage of electricity. They will focus on increasing coordination and control of power electronics to rapidly restore service interruptions and improve the ability to respond to events like fires and cyberattacks.


Projects in this funding program will bolster innovation across the U.S and work toward the SETO’s 2030 cost targets. Technical projects will result in new technologies and solutions that can lower solar electricity costs for PV and CSP and increase the use and management of solar on the grid, and soft costs projects will help reduce the red tape and financial burdens that come with installing solar energy systems.

Learn more about the PV, CSP, soft costs, technology to market, and systems integration projects.