Last Friday, DOE also said it would distribute a $62 million grant to a handful of companies researching and developing concentrated solar power projects for electric utilities. CSP uses mirrors to collect and focus sunlight on a surface to produce steam for electric power generation.
"This funding will support improvements in CSP systems, components and thermal energy storage to accelerate the market-readiness of this renewable energy technology," DOE said in announcing its financial injection.
By 2020, IEA expects photovoltaic
technology fitted on residential and commercial buildings to reach "grid parity," or the point at which solar power is consistently cost-competitive with conventional fossil fuels and nuclear power. "PV will become competitive at utility-scale in the sunniest regions by 2030 and provide 5% of global electricity," according to an IEA summary of its report.