First Solar


Wednesday 26 October 2011, by Am, Katelyn, Lee, Sherry, Tor

1 inspired

Brief Introdution

First Solar is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of photovoltaic solar modules and systems, their mission is to create enduring value by enabling a world powered by clean,affordable solar electricity.

a) The main facts about the activities of the company

First Solar manufactures and sells solar modules with an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology. First Solar designs, constructs, and sells photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. It operates the business in two segments: components segment and systems segment. Its components segment is its principal business and involves the design, manufacture, and sale of solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. Customers of its components segment include project developers, system integrators, and operators of renewable energy projects.
In January 2011, the Company and RayTracker, Inc. announced that First Solar, Inc. has acquired RayTracker, Inc. In January 2010, the Company completed the acquisition of certain assets from Edison Mission Group’s solar project development pipeline consisting of utility-scale solar projects located primarily on private land in California and the southwestern United States.

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

In terms of ethics, we can say that the company is challenged by environmental justice and development sustainability of the society.
It is essential for nations whose capability reaches the level that is capable of providing further research into alternative energy sources.
Reasons behind the importance of this is because the new alternative in the energy source can provide a whole new world for all energy infrastructure. It also reduces the costs for future generations in both the clean-up of higher levels of arbon in the atmostphere,as well as reduces the costs in relation to further innovation into more research.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

The products and service provided by First Solar make us believe this company is really ethical. As many people will take tobacco or oil industry as unethical business, we believe that new energy industry is ethical business as First Solar provides an economically and environmentally viable alternative to peaking fossil-fuel electricity generation.
We trust First Solar is really ethical not only because it comes from new energy industry that focused on providing value-driven energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. By harnessing the abundant natural resource of the sun, solar power generation provides a renewable, clean source of energy. By considerably reducing fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions, solar energy is a sustainable solution to meeting the long-term energy requirements of our global society.
We trust First Solar is really ethical but also because First Solar takes environmental responsibility a step further. First Solar believes it is important to understand both the direct and indirect impacts of its product on the environment throughout the product?s entire life cycle, from raw material sourcing through product collection and recycling.
What?s more, First Solar has decided to have a long-standing commitment to conducting their business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and in accordance with the highest ethical principles. This commitment is reinforced with the values, principles, and business practices that guide the business conduct.

d) The Possible Challenges in the Future

1.Future Competitors
The company itself is the new and creative innovation and its competitors that can be in the future are those Energy companies or related field industries such as Petroleum industry, Nuclear Power Industry, and Electrical Producing Industry.
2.Substitute Products
This technology is still considered as a new technology, so the substitute products are still those normal power industries such as Electricity, Nuclear power plant (also new and developing), Water System Electricity, but our advantage is that we use the sun as the source of the energy so we do not have to produce it by ourselves and it cannot be gone in near future. But still, we also have to improve ourselves and keep looking for the new initiative way of energy.
3.Bargaining Power of Customers
Due to the increasing of this new technology, the competition will be rising so we will have less bargaining power with the customers, so we have to make our product better than others, creating brand and nice marketing plan.
4.The intensity of competitive rivalry
The intensity of competitive rivalry is the major determinant of the competitiveness of the industry which will be increasing in the future so we must Sustainable competitive advantage through innovation that we have from the solar system to be our selling point.

e)What may company improve in the future?

First,Reducing Cost of Material,Since it is the new technology, the cost of material that use in the production is still high, but the future there will be more competitors and the cost of the material would be lower and the production process must be improve to be able to reduce the cost in the future.
Second,Expanding Worldwide and Making more Alliance.Now the company is expanding to almost every continents of the world and later is going to expand more into many countries. Now the company already has branches in various areas of the world such asUSA, Mexico, South America (Chile), Europe, and Australia and going to target the market in Asia soon.


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2 Discussions / 2 Messages

  • First Solar 4 June 2012 at 17:14 , by

    I agree with the author of this article that the products First Solar provides are really ethical by itself.

    Solar power is a free source of energy that can be absorbed without any further harming the environment
    (excluding the production of the solar panels). Also, it is a renewable resource of energy and those solar
    cells create absolutely no pollution. The cells require very little maintenance and are expected to last a good
    long time.

    On the other hand, the oil industry is still in the lead when it comes to the provision of energy. Those multibillion
    companies in this industry are vigorous and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their position in the supply
    of energy. Thus I believe that they are slowing down the development process of the solar industry which makes
    it yet an expensive alternative to the oil.

    Therefore, this article about First Solar inspired me because this company is pursuing the development of this
    alternative resource of energy. It is a value driven solution that is following a sustainable strategy in the long term.
    Solar power technology is improving consistently over time, as people begin to understand all of the benefits offered
    by this incredible technology. And through companies like First Solar, which invest huge amounts in research and
    development in those technologies and also increase the awareness and educate the society, these technologies
    gain a lot of importance.

  • First Solar 11 June 2012 at 23:07 , by Dennis

    Everything that has been discussed and added here is correct in my eyes. Established ways of supplying energy to the world are afraid that money might go elsewhere if alternative energy sources like solar energy are widely successful. A lot is being done to postpone this inevitable future where sustainable and environmentally friendly energy can be produced.

    The main problem of this industry, and also First Solar, as news and broadcast indicate, is rooted in the finance department of each alternative energy generating company. Subsidies are being cut back in an effort to make the industry competitive and self-sufficient, to make it stand on its own legs. But so far, budget cuts and subsidy reduction has only led to lay offs and recession among these companies. Overproduction and cheap chinese substitutes are already flooding the market, especially in Germany, the biggest market for solar energy systems and modules.

    Quality management, effiecient financing and production process optimization need to be put in place in order to help companies like First Solar, which in turn can help the world to be a better and cleaner place, that is to last many more centuries and milleniums.

Location: Tempe (United States of America, Arizona)

Sector: Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

Official website:

Key figures:

(1) Annual manufacturing capacity of in excess of 1.5 gigawatt and announced capacity in excess of 2.3GW by the end of 2011

(2) Produced over 57 million solar modules that generate over 4GW of power

(3) Over 3GW of module contracts in Europe and 2.4GW of utility scale solar system Power Purchase Agreements and RESOP in North America.

(4) Achieved the lowest manufacturing cost per watt in the industry, breaking $1 per watt in 2008

(5) Launched IPO on November 17, 2006.Common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol FSLR

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