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Solar & Alternative Energy

Rebecca Jones-Albertus plenary: The Importance of Reliability to the SunShot Initiative

A plenary talk from SPIE Optics + Photonics 2015.

31 August 2015, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201508.19

Rebecca Jones-Albertus, U.S. Dept. of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office The Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative was launched in 2011 to make subsidy-free solar electricity cost competitive with conventional energy sources by 2020. Research in reliability plays a major role in realizing this goal. Improving photovoltaic module lifetime and reducing degradation rates increase the lifetime energy output. Increasing confidence in photovoltaic system performance prediction can lower perceived investment risk and thus the cost of capital.

In 2015, SunShot expects to award over $40 million to impactful reliability research through its SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership and Physics of Reliability: Evaluating Design Insights for Component Technologies in Solar 2 programs. There are three photovoltaics subprograms that are designed to work together to achieve the PV objectives: improving system reliability and durability; increasing overall efficiency; and minimizing raw material costs.

Rebecca Jones-Albertus is the Program Manager for Photovoltaics Research and Development in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office. She oversees $200 million in funding to reduce photovoltaic material and process costs, increase module efficiency and improve module reliability, towards and beyond the goals of the SunShot Initiative.