Solar America Initiative


The goal of President Bush's Solar America Initiative is to achieve cost-competitiveness for solar technologies across all market sectors by 2015. DOE is working to accomplish this goal through public-private partnerships with industry, universities, national laboratories, state municipalities, and/or nongovernmental organizations. When federal solar energy research began in the 1970s, in response to rising oil prices, the cost of electricity from solar resources was about $2.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Technological advances during the last two decades have reduced solar electricity costs by more than 90 percent, opening up new markets for solar energy.


Benefits to the Nation

When the Solar America Initiative reaches its full potential in 2015, photovoltaic (PV) technologies could:

  • Provide at least 5 gigawatts of electric capacity (equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 1.25 million homes)
  • Avoid 7 million metric tons per year of CO2 emissions
  • Employ 10,000 new workers

The Solar America Initiative benefits the U.S. economy even sooner than 2015 — with partner companies achieving as much as a tenfold increase in production at 30% lower costs by 2010.

Through these results, the Solar America Initiative will enhance U.S. energy security and improve the environment by:

  • Diversifying electricity sources
  • Displacing the costs of new electricity transmission infrastructure
  • Utilizing safe and abundant U.S. solar resources
  • Providing a clean source of electricity

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