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Solar Energy: Federal Initiatives Overlap but Take Measures to Avoid Duplication

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Technical Report

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United States Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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The United States has abundant solar energy resources and solar, along with wind, offers the greatest energy and power potential among all currently available domestic renewable resources. In February 2012, GAO reported that 23 federal agencies had implemented nearly 700 renewable energy initiatives in fiscal year 2010--including initiatives that supported solar energy technologies GAO-12-260. The existence of such initiatives at multiple agencies raised questions about the potential for duplication, which can occur when multiple initiatives support the same technology advancement activities and technologies, direct funding to the same recipients, and have the same goals. GAO was asked to identify 1 solar-related initiatives supported by federal agencies in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 and key characteristics of those initiatives and 2 the extent of fragmentation, overlap, and duplication, if any, of federal solar-related initiatives, as well as the extent of any coordination among these initiatives. GAO reviewed its previous work and interviewed officials at each of the agencies identified as having federal solar initiatives active in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. GAO developed a questionnaire and administered it to officials involved in each initiative to collect information on initiative goals, technology advancement activities, funding obligations, number of projects, and coordination activities.

Subject Categories:

  • Astrophysics
  • Energy Storage

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