Leading domestic solar panel maker First Solar survived the quarter in tact as it lowered guidance on revenue but stuck to its earnings guidance, even upping the bottom of the range. The most interesting aspects of the earnings call and First Solar’s future surrounds its prospects in new markets.
It’s got projects on deck in Rajasthan, India, Indonesia and Dubai, early indicators that it could get traction in new markets. In the wake of the Indian power outage, the company is actively trying to secure project development deals there and as tariff rollbacks in Europe further impact revenue in established markets, it’s going to need to find new sources of revenue.
The biggest market that First Solar would love access to is China. But Chinese solar makers have their own problems with excess capacity, so much excess capacity that the government has doubled solar power generation targets and is considering requiring utilities to source minimum amounts of renewable energy. Throw in the fact that tariffs against Chinese solar cells have now been finalized by the U.S. government and convincing the Chinese market to open to American solar panels will be an uphill climb