Since Joe Biden’s presidency in the United States in 2021, US Investments in Solar Power by companies total over $435 billion in private sector investments, representing over 240 projects nationwide. This includes over $200 billion for clean energy, electric vehicle and battery projects. $10 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will strengthen America’s domestic solar power supply chain, and $30 million will fund technologies to help integrate solar energy into the grid. These US investments in solar power will help the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
US Investments In Solar Power Infrastructure
Eight US investments in solar power are projects selected from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program and will focus on reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of panel recycling processes. Increasing the number of recovered materials from solar panels, including silver and copper, means these materials can contribute to the domestic supply chain. The Georgia Institute of Technology is looking at replacing the silver in solar cell electrical contacts by developing new copper and aluminum-based metal pastes that can be screen printed onto silicon solar cells. Locusview in Chicago is looking at developing a standard for tracing solar modules through the entire supply chain, from raw material manufacturing to end-of-life management.
The Solar Manufacturing Incubator program projects are designed to accelerate the commercialization of innovative product ideas to boost the US solar supply chain. Both First Solar and Toledo Solar from Perrysburg, Ohio, are looking at ways to create rooftop products that are more efficient than silicon and create new markets for thin-film solar devices. Mirai Solar from Mountainview, California, is developing a commercialized foldable PV solar screen with variable shading and output power for controlled environment greenhouses.
US investments in solar power of $18 million from the PV Research and Development funding program will be awarded to teams addressing the issues of perovskite (used to transport the electric charge whenever the light hits the material) solar cell devices that limit their durability, scale-up and efficiency. The University of Colorado Boulder is looking at methods for the perovskite layer to minimize cost and maximize efficiency and durability.
Finally, the Operation and Planning Tools for Inverter-based Resource Management and Availability in Future Power funding will award $30 million to projects addressing emerging challenges for grid planning operators and engineers to plan and maintain the electric power grid’s future and maintain its reliable daily operation.
The investments made by the Biden-Harris Administration towards solar power incentivize companies to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to help scale up solar power. Many of these companies, scientists and researchers are developing interesting solutions to help recycle materials, boosting domestic solar manufacturing, driving innovation in solar technology, and developing grid management tools. Any of the projects that get awarded the funding will have a significant impact on the United States’ solar use and can help the country reach its clean electricity grid and net-zero emissions goals.