Sunday, March 1, 2009
Eco Tech: First Solar brings solar manufacturing below $1/watt
In bad economic times, a reduction in the cost of products is always a welcome sign. That reduction gets even better if it’s about something we’ve always wished to come cheap. First Solar is again the first in breaking the $1/watt barrier, which has been the goal of the solar industry for a long time. The company has claimed that their newest solar modules cost just 98 cents per watt. Though 2 cents doesn’t make that much of a difference, it definitely does break the records.
The company is now planning to double its capacity to a whopping 1 GW by this year’s end with costs already lowered by 67% in the last five years. First Solar believes that the cost could be reduced even further based on the yet untapped potential of its technology and manufacturing processes.
The Dark Side:
The manufacturing cost of solar panels is definitely reduced, but the installation costs are still the same, which will again bring the end cost to well over $1/watt. If any significant change is to be seen, then the manufacturing costs should be further reduced to about 60 cents/watt.
The Painting is by Baldomero Romero Ressendi