The internationally leading solar energy developer First Solar recently achieved a new milestone as far as installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity goes, hitting the 10 gigawatts (GW) mark, according to recent reports.
The company is apparently the first thin-film solar PV module manufacturer in the world to achieve this milestone — guess that’s where the “First” part of the company’s name comes from. First Solar has certainly been something of a pioneering force in the thin-film sector since its creation back in 2002.
According to the recent announcement from First Solar — which was made at the start of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi — the company has now installed enough solar modules worldwide to circle the globe three-and-a-half times over.
These 10 GW of installed capacity produced an estimated 14,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity last year, roughly the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of Washington, DC — impressive, especially since DC is not exactly the most energy-efficient city/district in the world.
Another way to think about what that number means is as the equivalent of the annual production of 20 or so “average” coal-fired power plants.
“This is much more than just a celebration of First Solar’s track record and the trust that our customers have placed in our technology. This milestone is a clear indication that solar is no longer a subsidy-driven extra; it has evolved into a valued component of the global generation portfolio, able to hold its own in terms of cost competitiveness and energy yield,” stated James Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, First Solar. “Thanks to our commitment to continuous improvement, we have been able to contribute towards the global transition to renewables by offering our customers solutions to their very specific energy challenges.”
Image Credit: First Solar