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Solar Technology Roadmap Act

Bill Summary and Status

Reported (as amended) by the Full Committee on October 7, 2009

Reported (as amended) by the Energy and Environment Subommittee on September 30, 2009

Introduced in the House on September 16, 2009

Section-by-Section

Sec. 1: SHORT TITLE

Gives short title of the bill as “Solar Technology Roadmap Act”

Sec. 2: DEFINITIONS

Provides definitions for “SECRETARY” and “SOLAR TECHNOLOGY”

TITLE I – SOLAR TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION

Sec. 101: PROGRAM

Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct a research, development, and demonstration program for solar technology, including photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, solar hot water, solar space heating and cooling, solar lighting, solar manufacturing, and integration solar technology in buildings.

Any grants awarded must be merit reviewed.  Grants may be awarded to academic institutions, national laboratories, Federal research agencies, state research agencies, nonprofit organizations, industrial entities, or consortia thereof. 

Paragraph (c) states that it is the policy of the United States that at least 75% of solar RD&D funding conducted by DOE after 2014 shall support activities identified by and recommended under the Solar Technology Roadmap described in Sec. 102.

Sec. 102: SOLAR TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP

Directs that within 18 months of enactment, the Solar Technology Roadmap Committee (established in Sec. 103) shall create the first Solar Technology Roadmap.

The roadmap shall present the best current estimate of the near-term (up to 2 years), mid-term (up to 7 years), and long-term (up to 15 years) research, development, and demonstration needs in solar technology; and provide(s) guidance to the solar technology research, development, and demonstration activities supported by the Federal Government.

The purposes of the roadmap are:

1)      to identify research, development, and demonstration needs for solar

technology challenges;

2)      identify opportunities for coordination with partner industries (such as those for semiconductors, energy storage, Smart Grid, etc.);

3)      and expedite the process of improving solar technologies by identifying

research goals that improve performance; decrease cost of electricity generated; improve reliability; and maximize the environmental benefits of solar technologies.

The Roadmap is subject to comprehensive revision every 3 years may be updated annually as needed.

Sec. 103: SOLAR TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP COMMITTEE

The Secretary of Energy shall appoint members of the Roadmap Committee within 4 months after enactment.

The Roadmap Committee must contain at least 11 members and the members serve 3 year terms. 1/3 of the members of the committee must come from the solar industry.  The Secretary chooses the chair, but the chair cannot be a federal government employee.           

Sec. 104: INTERAGENCY COORDINATION

Interagency activities identified and recommended by the Solar Technology Roadmap  shall be coordinated by the Director of OSTP.

Sec. 105: SOLAR TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS

Authorizes the DOE to conduct at least ten photovoltaic projects ranging from 1 to 3 megawatts in size and 2 to 3 solar projects greater than 30 megawatts in size.

Sec. 106: PHOTOVOLTAIC PERFORMANCE STUDY

DOE shall study and publish best practices to improve performance of photovoltaic installations. The study shall examine the effectiveness of federal, state, and local incentives to enhance system performance.

Sec. 107: SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION

Authorizes to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy to carry out this Act $350,000,000 in FY 2011, $400,000,000 in FY 2012, $450,000,000 in FY 2013, $500,000,000 in FY 2014, and $550,000,000 in FY 2015. Of this funding, $2 million per year is authorized to support the establishment and maintenance of the Solar Technology Roadmap. This section also reauthorizes solar research activities established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Sec. 108: EXISTING PROGRAMS

Except as otherwise specified in this Act, this Act shall supersede any duplicative or conflicting solar RD&D programs within the DOE.

Sec. 109: REPEALS

This section repeals outdated solar research legislation from 1974, 1978, and 1989. A provision that is not repealed is Sec. 10 of the Solar Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1974, which established the national laboratory that is now NREL.

TITLE II – PHOTOVOLTAIC RECYCLING

Sec. 201: PHOTOVOLTAIC DEVICE RECYCLING RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION

This section establishes a program of RD&D in the reuse, recycling, and safe disposal of photovoltaic devices and substances used in the manufacture of such devices.

111th Congress