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solar manufacturing line

The Solar Energy Technologies Office funds cutting-edge research and development that will help the solar industry to reduce the cost of manufacturing solar technologies to reach the 2030 cost targets. The funded projects are vital to building a strong clean energy manufacturing sector and supply chain in America, while producing cost-competitive clean energy products that keeps pace with the rising domestic and global demand for affordable solar energy.

Manufacturing and Competitiveness projects are part of DOE’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, an agency-wide effort to strengthen U.S. clean energy manufacturing competitiveness. The solar office strategically selects projects that advance technologies that will boost U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and help the country compete on a worldwide scale.

Solar Manufacturing Spotlight

Manufacturing and Competitiveness awardee 1366 Technologies developed an innovative manufacturing technique for silicon solar wafers that has the potential to change the industry. Today, nearly all silicon wafers are manufactured by first transforming the raw material into silicon blocks, which are then sawed into thin wafers. However, 1366 developed a process that allows for wafers to be made directly from raw silicon, eliminating the waste that is produced during the sawing process and saving money. In addition, the company also developed Direct Wafer® technology that allows for the control of the thickness of different regions of a wafer, ultimately using less silicon and producing wafers at a lower cost. Learn more.

Manufacturing Funding Programs