SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Much like the moon shot 50 years ago, the government is turning to the heavens to inspire a generation of scientists and innovators to help America reach its next big challenge.
Only this time, it's the sun, not the moon, that is the object of desire. And instead of space travel, the focus is finding better ways to power the Earth through energy from the sun.
The SunShot Initiative is a challenge laid out by the Department of Energy to decrease the cost of solar energy to $1 per watt, which would in turn help drive the economy, decrease dependence on foreign oil and reduce the amount of climate-changing gases spewing into the atmosphere. It's a lofty goal, but a worthy one, Ramamoorthy Ramesh, the DOE's director of the Solar Energy Technologies Program told scientists and energy experts at the Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency.