First Solar has announced a commitment to power 100 per cent of its solar manufacturing operations across the globe with renewable energy by 2028. Also, as part of an interim goal, the company has pledged to transition its facilities in the US to carbon-free electricity by 2026. The commitments were announced after First Solar joined RE100, a global collaborative initiative of companies committed to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy. RE100 is led by international nonprofit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP.
According to First Solar, its thin film solar photovoltaic (PV) module technology has a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV modules manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods. The company anticipates that the carbon footprint of its modules will decrease by an additional 40 per cent by 2028. First Solar was established in 1999 and has shipped over 25 GW of PV modules to over 45 countries around the world. It has manufacturing facilities across the US, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In fact, through corporate power purchase agreements, it has supported the decarbonization efforts of other RE100 members like Apple, Facebook, Kellogg’s, and Microsoft.
“Making a credible commitment to go 100 per cent renewable is not a decision we take lightly. It was essential for us to ensure that the promise that we make today is one that we can keep,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “With this pledge, we will further lower our embodied carbon footprint, already the lowest in the industry, and move towards realizing the full promise of cleaner solar. We recognize that the solar manufacturing industry has a collective responsibility to set challenging decarbonization goals for itself, and we hope that our decision encourages other PV manufacturers to make their own commitments,” he added.