The U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative announced a commitment to cut the cost of solar electricity by an additional 50 percent between 2020 and 2030. The Sunshot Initiative began in 2011 with the goal of making solar electricity cost-competitive with traditional energy sources without subsidies by 2020. The industry has seen rapid progress in accelerating cost reductions, and in many markets there is a clear pathway to meeting the SunShot 2020 cost targets on schedule.
Given this success and the potential for further innovation, the SunShot Initiative is extending its goals to reduce the average unsubsidized levelized cost of energy of utility-scale solar to 3 cents/kilowatt hour by 2030. It also aims to enable greater solar adoption by addressing grid integration challenges and market barriers.
In parallel, SunShot is targeting concurrent reductions for commercial and residential rooftop solar costs to 4¢/kWh and 5¢/kWh by 2030, respectively. Achieving this goal is expected to more than double the projected electricity demand met by solar compared to the 2020 goal alone.
“Both SunShot and the solar industry have made major strides to reduce costs for innovative technologies which resulted in dramatic market growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” said David Friedman, acting assistant secretary at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “These new goals and funding will further push down costs, save American consumers and businesses money, and create even more jobs.”
Last year, Energy Trust published a Benchmarking Oregon Solar Soft Costs 2014 Installer Survey Analysis report showing how the cost of solar in Oregon compared to the Sunshot 2020 targets. Energy Trust is currently surveying solar trade ally contractors to update the report with current information.