DOE invests $56 million in solar manufacturing and recycling


Through the Department of Energy (DOE) the Biden Administration has announced a commitment of $56 million to spur domestic manufacturing and recycling of solar modules, with DOE announcing another $18 million to be directed toward overcoming challenges to commercialization for department-backed technologies.

According to DOE, the manufacturing and recycling funding is split between two initiatives: the FY22 Photovoltaics (PV) Research and Development funding opportunity and the FY22 Solar Manufacturing Incubator funding opportunity.

The Research and Development funding opportunity will make available $29 million to support projects that increase the reuse and recycling of solar technologies, develop PV module designs that reduce manufacturing costs, and advance the manufacturing of PV cells made from perovskites. $10 million of the project’s total financing will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with these funds to be directed toward the recycling aspect of the program.

The remaining $26 million in funding will go toward the Manufacturing Incubator and will support projects aimed at commercializing new technologies that can expand private investment in US solar manufacturing. While any projects that ready new technologies and manufacturing processes for commercialization, DOE places a specific focus on boosting thin-film module manufacturing made from cadmium telluride.

“This administration wants to seize US leadership in solar energy, from manufacturing to recycling, and that means making the right investments to ensure these technologies are made right here at home,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, DOE is able to invest in our nation’s innovators so they can improve manufacturing and strengthen the domestic solar supply chain—lowering energy bills for Americans and businesses and driving toward an equitable clean energy future.”

Both of these funding avenues take a heavy focus on the commercialization of technology breakthroughs, a considerable hurdle when bringing innovation out of the lab. In additional support of this critical step in product development, DOE is investing $18 million in funding through the Technology Commercialization Fund for seven proposed National Laboratory projects focused on easing commercialization.

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