First Solar Speeds Ahead as Tariffs Hinder the Competition

By [email protected] President Trump’s new tariff on imported solar equipment has provided a golden opportunity for thin-film solar manufacturer First Solar.

The company went out on a limb years ago by bucking the trend toward crystalline-silicon photovoltaics, and it outlasted dozens of other thin-film solar contenders over the years. That unconventional approach paid off in a serendipitous way this year, when its cadmium-telluride solar technology was left out of the 30 percent tariff on imported crystalline-silicon PV cells and modules.

“First Solar has been the beneficiary of its own ingenuity, as well as a broader policy environment that has rewarded the improvements it made

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