Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why does First Solar stand alone?

"First Solar, which makes cadmium-telluride solar cells, is having one of those years that corporate managers and investors dream about." They're having great sales etc but the article asks why there aren't competitors coming into the market to make cadmium-telluride solar panels. They discuss several aspects but it appears there are two.

One is their process. "In a sense, the entire thin film solar industry is a competition around who can build a better machine. The CIGS solar cell companies will all have similar products. The difference between them lay in how they produce those cells..."

The second is that Cadmium can be toxic. Nickel-Cadmium batteries are generally banned for the same reason. This can scare people away.

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