DOE Launches New Research Program to Advance Solar Technologies

February 29, 2012

Photo of large metal trough in the desert.

Concentrating solar power, like this system, as well as photovoltaic systems, will get a boost from DOE's BRIDGE funding.
Credit: DOI

DOE announced on February 23 that $3 million is available this year to support research to significantly lower the cost of solar energy. The Bridging Research Interactions through Collaborative Development Grants in Energy (BRIDGE) funding will enable collaborative research teams from industry, universities, and national laboratories to work together in DOE's research centers. The research teams will support the goal of DOE's SunShot Initiative to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.

The BRIDGE funding will enable researchers to leverage the tools and expertise of scientists at DOE research facilities so that fundamental scientific discoveries can be rapidly transitioned to existing product lines and projects. The BRIDGE program is the first to provide engineers and scientists developing photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies with the tools and expertise of DOE's research facilities. Those will include major facilities for x-ray and neutron scattering, nanoscale science, advanced microcharacterization, environmental molecular sciences, and advanced scientific computing. This collaborative approach will accelerate innovations to lower the cost of photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. Full applications are due May 21, 2012. See the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy progress alert, the Funding Opportunity Exchange Web page for details, and the SunShot Initiative website.