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First Solar (FSLR) Sets New Target to Go Emission Free by 2050

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First Solar Inc. FSLR recently revealed its target to become emission free by 2050 at the latest, in an attempt to decarbonize its global energy portfolio. It also aims to power its global operations with 100% renewable energy by 2028 and entire U.S operations by 2026.

The company also declared its science-based targets, under which it pledges to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2028 from its 2020 levels.

How Will FSLR Achieve the Target?

First Solar aims to achieve its science-based targets through increased energy efficiency. In 2020, the company’s GHG emissions intensity decreased by 31%, while its absolute scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions decreased by 25% compared with 2019, driven by greater throughput and enhanced energy efficiency of its Series 6 module manufacturing process.

Looking ahead, we note that due to its resource-efficient manufacturing process, First Solar modules have a carbon footprint that is up to 2.5 times lower, a water footprint that is up to three times lower, and an energy payback time that is up to two times faster than conventional crystalline silicon solar panels on a life cycle basis.

Thus, with the smallest carbon footprint, fastest energy payback time and lowest life cycle water use in the industry, First Solar modules generate cleaner solar electricity than conventionally manufactured solar panels.

Moreover, the company has installed onsite PV installations at its production sites in Ohio and Malaysia and at the recycling facility in Frankfurt Oder, Germany. First Solar is also looking for opportunities to procure offsite solar electricity as part of its renewable energy strategy.

Such initiatives undertaken by First Solar, along with its energy efficient modules, should enable the company to duly achieve its net zero emission target by 2050.

Initiatives by Other Solar Players

Like First Solar, other global solar players are taking initiatives to promote emission reduction and pledge similar goals to go emission free in the coming days.

For instance, in February 2021, JinkoSolar Holding JKS announced that it is the first international solar company to have signed on to the Global Framework Principles for Decarbonizing Heavy Industry. This is part of the company’s efforts to continue supporting the decarbonization of the heavy industry sector in favor of a transition toward clean energy.

In July 2021, Canadian Solar CSIQ announced that it achieved reductions of 20% in GHG emissions in 2020 from the 2017 baselines. The company targets to reduce GHG emissions by 37% from the 2020 levels.

In April, Sunrun RUN announced that it has prevented more than 8.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution. The company set a goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2040.

Zacks Rank & Price Movement

First Solar currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of First Solar have gained 23.3% in the past 12 months compared with the industry’s 12% rise.

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