First Solar

First SolarThere seem to be countless new ideas every year for new sources of energy – from fracking to windpower, from biomass to geothermal, organizations worldwide are investing time and resources into discovering an innovative way to power our world.

First Solar, founded in 1999, has focused on another source of energy: solar energy. First Solar is one of the top providers for photovoltaic systems in the world. Their mission is to provide clean and affordable solar power, and they have succeeded: they have developed the cheapest solar panels per watt, at less than $1/watt. First Solar uses cadmium-tellurium (Cd-Te) panels, and they operate these at 14.4%, a  world-record level of efficiency. Furthermore, these panels are cheaper to produce than crystalline panels, which are the popular choice for most solar energy companies.

First Solar yet again broke records when they became the first company to produce 1GW in a single year, and they have set records in efficiency. The modules that they produce generate energy with zero air emissions, zero water-use, and zero waste production.

At Environmental Watch, we love to talk about the non-profit organizations, societies, and grassroots groups that are fighting from the ground to protect our planet. Yet the reality is that beyond their advocacy, much of the real change only comes to pass with the assistance of companies like First Solar. First Solar has made renewable, solar energy its priority, and the company’s future looks bright.