FIGURE 2.1 Budget authority for the Department of Energy’s lighting research and development within the Building Technologies Program (millions of dollars). SOURCE: Based on DOE (2010, 2011b) and Brodrick (2012).

must be used for R&D into manufacturing improvements for general illumination SSL. These yearly appropriations received a one-time boost with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which in 2009 resulted in about $50 million in additional funding being injected into SSL R&D activities, much of which went to jumpstart the Manufacturing Initiative.

The goal of the SSL R&D program is the following: “By 2025, develop advanced solid-state lighting technologies that, compared to conventional lighting technologies, are much more energy-efficient, longer lasting, and cost-competitive by targeting a product system efficiency of 50 percent with lighting that closely reproduces the visible portions of the sunlight spectrum” (DOE, 2011a, p. 9). Three primary interrelated thrusts are identified in the SSL multiyear program plan for which roadmaps have been developed: (1) core technology research and product development, (2) manufacturing R&D, and (3) commercialization support. The project areas outlined in the Multi-Year Program Plan cover a variety of topics split into core and product development for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) (DOE, 2011a).

The LED core technology focus areas are emitter materials research, down-converters (material systems designed to convert shortwavelength emitted radiation to longer wavelengths in the visible spectrum), novel emitter materials and architectures, and optical component materials. The LED product development focus areas are semiconductor materials, phosphors, emitter thermal control, luminaire thermal management techniques, electronic components research, and off-grid lighting. The core technology focus areas for OLEDs are novel device architecture, novel materials, material degradation, and electrode research. OLED product development areas include practical implementation of materials and device architectures, substrate materials, luminaire mechanical design, luminaire thermal management, large area OLED, and OLED light extraction.

The SSL Manufacturing Initiative was added to the SSL R&D portfolio in 2009 and is aimed at reducing costs of SSL sources and luminaires, improving product consistency and maintaining high-quality products, and encouraging a significant role for domestic U.S.-based manufacturing. Most of the one-time $50 million ARRA appropriation in FY2009 went into the manufacturing initiative, a fact reflected in the total obligations listed in Table 2.2. In its funding opportunity announcements, DOE expressed the goal of 50 percent cost-share for manufacturing projects and 20 percent for core technology and technology development projects. To aid in successful market adoption of SSL technology, DOE has also developed a 5-year SSL commercialization support plan to help create the conditions, specifications, standards, opportunities, and incentives that can lead to the accelerated adoption and applications of SSL products that will lead to reduced energy consumption in buildings.

TABLE 2.2 Breakdown of Current Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Research and Development (R&D) Obligations (from both DOE and Matching Funds) as of December 2011

R&D Area Funding (millions of dollars) Percentage of Total Funding Number of Projects
Core Technology
   LEDs 18.2 16 10
   OLEDs 8.8 8 7
Product Development
   LEDs 14.6 13 8
   OLEDs 5.9 5 4
   LEDs 46.2 41 6
   OLEDs 20.2 18 3
Total 113.9 100 38

SOURCE: Based on DOE (2011b) and Brodrick (2011).

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