The Department of Energy's recently announced Solar Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) offers up to $60 million in funding over five years to support the development of low-cost Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology, according to a recent article on www.energycentral.com. The FOA includes $10 million in the DOE's 2008 budget appropriations and $10 million in its 2009 budget request.

CSP systems use heat generated by concentrating and absorbing solar energy to produce thermal energy. This type of solar energy can be used immediately for generating power through a steam turbine or heat engine, or may be saved as thermal energy for later use.

“Harnessing the natural and abundant power of the sun and more cost-effectively converting it into energy is an important component of our comprehensive strategy to commercialize and deploy advanced clean, alternative technologies that will allow us to become less reliant on foreign oil,” said Clarence Albright, DOE under-secretary of energy. “The Administration's investment in solar technology will not only bolster innovation, but will help meet the President's goal of making solar power cost-competitive with conventional sources of electricity over the next seven years.”