U.S. Solar Panel maker to Build Solar Farms in Energy-Hungry India

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First Solar Inc., the U.S.-based solar panel manufacturer, plans to expand its role in the global energy industry by developing solar power farms in India, where an emerging industrial sector is looking to shore up energy security in the aftermath of record blackouts.

The company aims to secure 20 percent of India’s photovoltaic sales by expanding beyond its role as a solar panel supplier and building large solar arrays, Sujoy Ghosh, First Solar’s new India head, told Bloomberg News.

According to Ghosh, First Solar will sell electricity at below-market prices directly to private businesses looking to lock in their own power supplies in the event of electricity shortfalls. India, which last month endured blackouts that left half the nation’s 1.2 billion people without power, has a 30-gigawatt backup power market comprised of factories and businesses that switch to diesel generators when power fails.

First Solar is one of the world’s most successful photovoltaic panel manufacturers and its plans to operate solar farms and sell electricity would help protect the firm against the falling price of solar panels.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

1 Comment

  1. Why wouldn’t India make the purchasers “Buy Indian”. They are losing jobs to US based manufacturers. Why would they not place tariffs on these panels like we have done to the Chinese?

    Just being silly, it is good to see that some of these assemblies will be used for harnessing the free energy of the sun for cell towers. The cell towers in turn, provide multimedia education free to anyone motivated enough to learn. Every class can be transmitted (from early education thru college), thus providing a higher quality of life at low or no cost. Wasn’t India the first one to sell e-readers and laptops for less than 50 bucks, with open platform programming?

    Actually, having a nationwide rooftop consumer owned solar PV infrastructure will fall into step with the emerging electric vehicle market.

    As a side benefit, health care costs will also decrease as less and less pollutants are produced by conventional fuels.

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