Tech Enabled Solar Industry
The solar power industry has received an added boost with rapid technological advancements in Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology. Companies in this industry use AI to identify and track patterns in energy generation and consumption, and blockchain is a brilliant way to facilitate and record energy transactions with mixed results. Leveraging such advanced technology, the solar energy industry can help conserve energy by lowering transaction costs, facilitating automation, and generating revenue for distributed energy technology owners.
Sustainability at the Core of First Solar
At this juncture, First Solar, a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly-produced ecoefficient solar modules, takes the lead in advancing the fight against climate change. With their unparalleled experience in solar operations around the globe, First Solar has successfully reduced risk across the solar value chain while delivering more reliable, dependable, and cost-effective solutions for their customers. Due to considerable R&D investments, the company has achieved a lower Levelized cost of energy (LCOE), increased energy yield, and stable grid integration. In reality, First Solar provides LCOE to customers that are competitive with fossil fuels. Energy consumers’ expenses are reduced by First Solar technology, which delivers power during peak energy use and protects them from fuel price fluctuation.
We design, develop and manufacture products that offer unique safety benefits, environmentally consciousness and long-term power. We also have the optimal battery energy storage solution, whether it be for your home, business or infrastructure project
First Solar understands its responsibility towards the planet, communities, and the customers, and therefore they embarked upon a journey to lead the world’s sustainable energy future. First Solar further believes that solar is the embodiment of sustainability and refers to it as ‘Responsible Solar’ for its strong ethical commitment to people and the environment. As a result, First Solar’s Series 6 modules have been awarded an EPEAT Silver rating, making them the first PV product to be listed in the EPEAT registry for sustainable electronics. Customers perceiving such a widely recognized and independently validated ecolabel can be ensured about purchasing an environmentally friendly product from a socially responsible firm. Additionally, the increased manufacturing throughput and improved energy and water efficiency of the Series 6 manufacturing process lowered their GHG emissions, energy, and water intensity.
First Solar is the only US-headquartered company among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers that does not use crystalline silicon (c-Si) semiconductors. First Solar’s revolutionary breakthrough of thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules, developed in R&D centers in California and Ohio, defines the next generation of solar technology, thereby offering a cost-effective, high-performance, lowcarbon alternative to conventional c-Si PV panels. From raw material procurement and manufacturing to end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s technological approach embraces sustainability to safeguard the environment.
On a life cycle basis, First Solar modules have a carbon footprint up to 2.5 times lower, a water footprint up to three times lower, and an energy payback time up to two times faster than standard crystalline silicon solar panels due to their resource-efficient production process. Under high irradiation circumstances, First Solar PV modules produced more energy than it took to make them in just four months. This equates to a 90-fold energy return on investment (EROI) throughout the project’s 30-year lifespan, providing the power system with a significant net energy gain. Solar electricity generated by First Solar modules is cleaner than that generated by traditionally made solar panels, thereby enabling customers to decouple their business growth from the environmental consequences of traditional electricity generation and usage.
Robust Change Management in Place
To ensure that product modifications do not negatively affect product safety, reliability, environmental footprint, or recyclability, First Solar employs a robust change management system (CMS). Before getting final approval and being applied across manufacturing locations, process changes and module design upgrades go through multiple tests and validation runs. Prior to any significant product or manufacturing process changes being made, a life cycle analysis is undertaken to analyze the environmental, health, and safety implications. In that vein, First Solar is instrumental in powering a circular economy by changing waste into resources. While most PV recycling processes only recover highmass fraction materials like glass and frames (i.e. bulk recycling), First Solar’s high-value recycling process recovers over 90 percent of the semiconductor material for reuse in new First Solar modules and 90 percent of the glass for reuse in new glass container products. One kilogram of First Solar’s semiconductor material can be recycled 41 times, giving it a life expectancy of over 1,200 years. The module frame is dismantled and recycled for use in aluminum products.
First Solar is committed to decreasing its operational effect in addition to creating PV modules with the lowest environmental impact in the industry. By implementing resource conservation and low carbon projects at our facilities, as well as improvements in module efficiency, manufacturing throughput, manufacturing yield, and capacity utilization, First Solar has successfully reduced their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy, water, and waste intensity per watt produced since 2009.
First Solar defines sustainability as their ‘ability to endure and scale.’ Thanks to their sustainability approach which enabled them to attain long-term growth while adhering to environmentally and socially responsible practices. Through their approach to responsible life cycle management, environmental footprint analysis, resource efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, waste management, global charitable giving, operational cost reduction, responsible sourcing and human rights, as well as our global PV module recycling services, First Solar’s sustainability program drives their commitment to the triple bottom line of ‘people, planet, and profit.’