It is an exciting time for the European solar industry – with new technologies, markets, and business opportunities emerging every day, it is crucial that solar companies stay on the cutting-edge of the sector. One of the companies leading the solar boom in Europe and beyond is First Solar. As one of the sponsors of our SolarPower Summit on 14-15 March in Brussels, First Solar is on the frontlines forging new opportunities for solar in Europe. We sat down with Andreas Wade, Global Sustainability Director at First Solar, to discuss the opportunities for Europe to claim its top spot as a global leader in solar and clean energy.
SolarPower Europe (SPE): As a leading module manufacturer, why are Ecodesign and Ecolabel of importance for you?
Andreas Wade (AW): We place sustainability at the heart of everything we do, which directly translates into being able to power our customers’ success with some of the most eco-efficient photovoltaic modules available on the market today.
Countries like France have already paved the way towards lower carbon solar, but more needs to be done to ensure a level playing field for the assessment of the environmental performance of PV products and manufacturers. This is particularly important at a time when increasing numbers of PV manufacturers are going private, making it a challenge to accurately evaluate the performance, quality, and reliability of their product.
Ecodesign and Ecolabeling addresses this challenge and helps deliver transparency to asset owners, and even to lenders who are beginning to tie the bankability of a project to its sustainability performance as well as its environmental and social governance.