US Energy Department to fund development of plug and play solar systems
With a view to making solar systems more viable for homeowners, the United States’ energy Department has pledged $5 million toward the development of plug and play photovoltaic systems that can be installed in just a day. At present, a majority of the public are hesitant about purchasing PVs owing to relatively expensive cost in terms of upfront payments and tricky installation. The Energy Department’s funding will seek to change the way PV systems are designed and installed.
According to the department, the initiative will make it easier for homeowners to purchase and install solar systems, which are known to save money in the long run. The move follows the idea of popularizing green energy among the masses to offset dependence on fossil fuel based power. Plug and play systems will enable consumers to hook them up to a PV ready circuit after which a detection system will initiate communication between the utility and the solar system.
The $5 million funding will be spread out over a five year phase and will cover the cost of completion of two projects. To further support the initiative, the department will seek an additional $20 million from the government over the next four years.
The SunShot Initiative seeks to make solar energy more cost competitive against other forms of power generation.
The United States isn’t the only country in the race to go green. European countries, with Germany in particular, are attempting to switch to renewables within a specific time frame. In fact, European countries are at number two in the list of global leaders of renewable energy application and development. What has hampered efforts is ‘soft’ costs that comprise mounting hardware and electronics despite the drop in cost of solar panels. Once the United States makes strides in the development of the plug and play technology, the country could comfortably maintain its position as being the number one investor in clean energy.