Department of Energy sets solar objective

    The federal Department of Energy wants to reduce the cost of solar energy production by a fifth within the next decade. A department official spoke Tuesday at a meeting of the Solar America Cities program in Philadelphia.

    The Department of Energy wants municipal employees to help come up with ways to reduce the costs of solar installation and permitting. Arun Majumdar, an undersecretary for the department, said there is a global race going on right now to come up with an affordable way to tap solar energy.

    “Everyone has solar–except you cannot convert that to electricity in a cost-effective way today. So, if you can enable that, there’s a huge global market. We want the United States to be competitive out there, to be one of the leaders out there so you can actually have a good market share of the global market,” he said.

    Majumdar said countries such as China, India and Germany could be moving ahead of the United States when it comes to solar energy. He says solar could compete with natural gas–if it were more cost effective.

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