Energy Department Launches SunShot Prize Competition to Install Solar Energy Systems at a Fraction of Today’s Price
WASHINGTON — As part of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, which is working to make solar energy competitive with other forms of energy without subsidy by the end of the decade, the Energy Department today announced the start of a new competition to make it faster, easier, and cheaper to install rooftop solar energy systems. The SunShot Prize makes a total of $10 million in cash awards available to the first three teams that repeatedly demonstrate the non-hardware costs, or price to plug in, can be as low as $1 per watt (W) for small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems on American homes and businesses. This ambitious target represents a decrease in the “soft costs” of solar energy systems – including permitting, licensing, connecting to the grid and other non-hardware costs – by more than 65 percent. By breaking a significant price barrier that was considered unachievable only a decade ago, the winning teams will demonstrate that solar energy is an affordable solution for American families and businesses.
“This race to the rooftops is designed to inspire innovative teams including installers, local governments, and utilities to make solar energy systems more affordable,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This aggressive target is an important step that will help bring us significantly closer to reaching the SunShot goal of cost-competitive solar energy by the end of the decade.”
While solar hardware prices have fallen about 75 percent in the past four years, the soft costs of installing solar energy systems remain stubbornly high. The SunShot Prize is meant to inspire innovative, sustainable, and verifiable business practices that reduce these soft costs to $1/W. Achieving this target will bring the SunShot goal of $0.60/W for residential system soft costs within reach by the end of the decade.
How to Install Solar Panels : Solar Energy System Sizes
Running an entire house on solar energy requires quite a few panels. Learn about solar energy system sizes from a professional in this free energy conservation video.
Expert: Roger Bacon
Bio: Roger Bacon is the owner of RGB Home Repair and Renovation in Santa Barbara California. He has experience in all phases of home repair and renovations such as plumbing, heating and solar power.
Filmmaker: Diana Bacon