The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a competition for innovation in solar energy. The contest is entitled the “American-Made Solar Prize” is designed to develop new, American made solar energy products. The competitors will have access to resources through a network of national labs, think tanks, investors, and industry experts.
President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, Abigail Ross Hopper stated, “We share this administration’s desire for strong American solar manufacturing, and this prize competition a is good way to spur innovative ideas.” Competitors will provide a proof of concept, develop a prototype and test the prototype to a team of solar energy experts.
A total of $3 million will be awarded to contestants: Awards will be made to the following projects:
• Identify An Idea Or Solution Addressing A Critical Need In The Solar Industry – Each winner will be awarded up to $50,000.
• Advance The Technology Solution Toward A Proof Of Concept – Each winner will be awarded up to $200,000.
• Successfully Test A Prototype – Each winner will be awarded $500,000.
Application to the American-Made Solar Prize contest must be submitted by October 5, 2018. In my opinion, tariffs alone on solar product imports will not create a vibrant solar manufacturing industry. Personally, I support spending tax payer money to encourage innovation in the development of solar products.