The United States of America

This article will discuss solar power in America and investigate the ambitions & strategy, and challenges behind solar power. It will also shed light on the key players and the projects of interest. Solar power is an indirect way to reduce carbon emissions, and it will be crucial in America's quest to attain net zero by 2050.

Ambition & Strategy

In October 2021, the federal government announced its intention to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2035, and currently, 60 per cent of the electricity is from renewable sources. In line with the goal, the Department of Energy announced $52 million in funding to strengthen America’s domestic solar supply chain and invest in technologies which will help integrate solar power with the electric grid on 20 April 2023.

Key Projects

Solar Panel recycling:

  • Electroninks incorporated an exploring metal ink project for solar cells with $750,000 funding in Texas.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology is developing metal pastes for solar cells with $1.5 million in funding in Atlanta.
  • Locusview manufactures solar modules through recycling and reusing materials with $750,000 funding in Chicago.
  • Solarcycle incorporated recovering the materials from end-of-life panels using an environmentally friendly process with $1.5 million in funding in Oakland.
  • The University of California Berkley is developing materials from solar panels for reuse and recycling with $1.5 million in funding in Berkley.
  • University of California San Diego is developing materials for reuse and recycling of solar panels with $1 million in funding in La Jolla.
  • The University of Central Florida is developing copper metal contacts for solar cells with $1.5 million in funding in Orlando.
  • The University of Kansas is developing methods to separate recyclable materials of solar cells with $1.3 million in funding in Lawrence.

Domestic Solar Manufacturing:

  • First Solar is developing more efficient rooftop solar panels with $7.3 million in funding in Perrysburg.
  • Toledo Solar is addressing a new market for thin-film solar devices with $8.8 million in funding in Perrysburg.

Commercialisation projects:

  • BREK Electronics is reducing the cost of grid-tied inverters through new technology with $500,000 funding in Broomfield.
  • Guardian Devices produces products to prevent fires in photovoltaic systems with $900,000 funding in Albuquerque.
  • LITESPEED Energy is making photovoltaic systems resilient to wind and waves with $1.6 million in funding in Livermore.
  • Makai Ocean Engineering de-risks heat exchange in solar power systems with $600,000 funding in Waimanalo.
  • Mirai Solar is commercialising foldable solar panels with $1.4 million in funding in Mountainview.
  • Mission Drives Corporation is developing an inverter to enhance switch electricity with $1.2 million in funding in Potsdam.
  • Vitro Flat Glass is improving the power output of solar panels with $1.6 million in funding in Cheswick.

Solar Technology Innovation:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to bring together industry and academics for efficient module design, manufacturing methods, and durability testing with $9 million in funding in Cambridge.
  • University of Colorado Boulder is developing different methods to minimise cost and maximise the efficiency of silicon solar cells with $9 million in funding in Boulder.

Key Players

  • NextEra Energy, based in Florida, is a renewable energy company supplying electricity through solar, wind, nuclear, and natural gas to consumers across the North American continent.
  • Avangrid, based in Portland, is in providing energy services and delivery. It supplies electricity through solar, natural gas and wind energy.
  • First Solar, based in Tempe, manufactures solar panels and provides utility-scale photovoltaic power plants and services for finance, construction, maintenance, and end-of-life panel recycling.
  • SunPower, based in California, provides photovoltaic solar energy generation systems and battery energy storage products for residential customers.
  • Cypress Creek Renewables, headquartered in North Carolina, is renowned as a solar energy firm that strives to make clean and affordable energy accessible to communities throughout the nation.


  • The great challenge with solar energy development is the variability of solar production. For example, weather conditions vary daily, and it is challenging to manage solar energy production.
  • The second obstacle is the capital-intensive nature of the technology. For instance, the cost of production has come down through technological advancement, but the initial installation cost is still high, affecting the country’s ability to embrace solar power.
  • The third problem is the lack of infrastructure acting as a hurdle in enhancing the share of solar power in electricity generation. For instance, more than 8,000 renewable energy projects such as solar, and wind were severely delayed as they were awaiting permission to connect to the electric grid.

Final Viewpoint

In this piece, I have discussed the American government's ambition and strategy concerning solar power. I have talked about three initiatives initiated by the American federal government in detail to showcase the efforts made to promote this energy source.

The top five players in the solar energy industry are mentioned, along with three challenges faced by the world’s largest economy. Despite these endeavours, the United States continues to rely on fossil fuels to meet its energy demands, leaving the timeline for a complete transition to renewable energy sources uncertain for the American powerhouse.

End Notes:

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