Forecasting and influencing technological progress in solar energy

  • Lobo, Jose (PI)

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS) is a new program administered by the SunShot Initiative to support use-inspired research on solar energy innovation dynamics and technology adoption patterns. SEEDS supports the development of a diversity of analytical, numerical, and computational tools and methods for quantitative evaluation; implementation of pilot test strategies for modifying current practices; and assessment of pilot tests outcomes for impact and scalability. Through SEEDS, DOE seeks to launch a series of systematic investigations that will result in viable methods for dramatically transforming the operations of solar researchers, manufacturers, developers, installers, and policymakers. Selected research efforts will be performed in tandem with industry practitioners to ensure that results can be applied, tested, and modified in real time. The two SEEDS research focus areas are: (A.) Solar Technology Evolution: Technology evolution is the complex process by which a technology increases in performance and functionality and decreases in cost over time. Over the last 40 years, solar energy technologies have followed a particularly simple trend of cost reductions as production has ramped up. The simplicity of this trend conceals the rich set of coupled dynamics behind human learning, effort, and experience. A more rigorous understanding of solar technology evolution can reveal key levers for accelerating progress. (B.) Solar Technology Diffusion: Innovation diffusion theory seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas, products, and technologies spread through society. Key results from innovation diffusion theory are often generalizations of empirically-observed qualitative trends. Within the past decade, the availability of large data sets and computational tools allows for quantitative analysis of diffusion trends with unprecedented precision and scale. Numerical modeling can reveal the complex processes underlying a technologys spread. A more rigorous understanding of solar technology diffusion can reveal key mechanisms for accelerating solar adoption.
    Effective start/end date4/1/133/31/15


    • US Department of Energy (DOE): $94,558.00


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