First Solar Bets on Efficiency Increases

Solar manufacturer First Solar plans on implementing improvements to its mass produced solar cells to increase efficiency from 11.7% to as high as 14.5%. These improvements are intended to keep the companies thin film solar cell technology competitive with increasingly cheaper Chinese polysilicone solar cells. While still boasting the lowest cost per watt First Solar’s Cadmium Telluride thin film solar cells have become less attractive due to their lower efficiency when compared with the polysilicone cells.

Improvements to the efficiency of their cells will ensure that First Solar remains an attractive choice of manufacturers for photovoltaic installations. However these increases are projected to reach markets in 2014 which could lead to short term woes for the company. Additionally efficiency gains may not meat expectations as First Solar itself admits these new technological advances may only result in 13.5% efficiency which would only be a 1.8% gain over 3 years.



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