First Solar Pushes for PV Development with Higher Oil Prices

First Solar, the U.S. producer of solar modules that turned into a developer of plants, is aiming for North America and the Middle East as its markets for growth with oil- and gas-rich countries looking to lower their domestic dependence on those fuels to maximize returns from exports.

Raffi Garabedian, the chief technology officer of First Solar, confirmed the decision of the company to expand into plant development through the utilization of its personal modules, a decision which should the firm to be more competitive on the foreign market.

Further, the main cause for pushing photovoltaics across the Sahel and the Middle East was the aim of governments that are rich in fossil fuels to maximize their exports of oil and natural gas.

With Brent trading at a crude price per barrel of more than $110, the cost to producer countries of subsidizing their domestic fuel consumption costs as much as $90 per barrel, said Director General Adnan Amin of the International Renewable Energy Agency based in Abu Dhabi during an interview.

Those numbers imply that solar, whether in photovoltaics or even the more costly Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), are almost equivalent (in costs) when lost exports are accounted for.

The nations across the region that produce crude are also seeing an increased need for electricity.

The interview to Mr. Raffi Garabedian took place during the World Future Energy Summit held in Abu Dhabi last week.