WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) — The U.S. Energy Department said it was supporting advances in solar power technology with a $13 million investment in five development projects.
The Energy Department said the investment is part of the so-called SunShot initiative, a program meant to spur U.S. innovations to reduce the cost of solar energy.
The department said the investment will help five companies in California, Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Oregon develop manufacturing processes for photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies in a way that makes the U.S. solar power sector more competitive.
“We have a tremendous opportunity for American manufacturing to lead the global clean energy market and help pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement Wednesday.
The Energy Department said 930 megawatts of solar power was added to the U.S. grid during the second quarter of 2013, up 20 percent from the previous quarter. Combined, installed solar capacity in the United States provides 10 gigawatts of energy.
Critics of President Obama‘s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy point to the bankruptcy of federally backed solar companies as a reason for concern.