Increase Funding for Solar Panel Research


Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Facilitate research on new, more effective solar panel technologies.

New solar panel technology using a naturally-occurring mineral is a more cost-effective and efficient source of energy than traditional solar panel technology, but the United States is not funding research into its development as much as it could. Given the severity of climate change, researching this technology and ensuring it becomes usable should be of the highest priority. Demand that the government increase funding for research and development into this important new technology.

Research conducted by Britain’s Exeter University has demonstrated that solar panels made from a mineral called perovskite are 40 percent cheaper to produce and 50 percent more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity than solar panels that are in production today. These panels would be an incredible source of power for countries that are still developing, but would also be a boon for developed countries struggling to embrace clean energy. The production process for perovskite panels is much less complicated than that of traditional silicon panels, but before they can be produced on an industrial scale, more research needs to take place.

To do that, researchers need resources. At this point in time, however, the federal government has only dedicated $1.2 million over the next four years to domestic perovskite panel research. Sign the petition below to tell the government that this is not enough and that we need to put more money behind research into this solar technology.


Dear President Obama,

I am writing you today regarding federal funding of research into new clean energy technologies. A recent breakthrough in solar panel technology is highly encouraging and could be a huge source of sustainable energy in the future, but in order for it to get to a point where panels using it can be produced in mass quantities, we need to put more money into research.

The research was done at Exeter University and concerns solar panel technology that uses the mineral perovskite. They found that panels using this technology can be billionths of a meter thin, work in various atmospheric conditions instead of only direct sunlight, manufactured transparent to be put on windows, and be produced without expensive vacuum-based techniques. The result is a solar panel that is 40 percent less expensive to produce and 50 percent more efficient at turning sunlight into energy than the panels normally used today. So far we have only given a little over $1 million in federal grant money to research into this technology here at home, though. That is not enough.

Developing clean, sustainable energy and mitigating climate change as much as we can at this point have always been tenets of your presidency. We can’t pass an opportunity like this up—we need to get this technology viable as soon as possible. I urge you to do what you can to increase federal funding into domestic research on perovskite solar panels.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: USAF via Wikimedia Commons

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