Today in Cleantech

The market is loving First Solar’s consolidation plans as the stock has jumped over 10 percent in morning trading. We knew this was coming as interim CEO Mike Ahearn let investors know last December that he had plans to move away from incentivized markets and head further into utility scale project development. Plans include laying off 2,000 employees, 30 percent of the workforce, and closing its manufacturing operations in Germany. Also included in the consolidation was news that First Solar’s manufacturing costs are lowering slightly ahead of expectations, down to about 70 cents per watt. All in all, the company is hunkering down for the winter, so to speak, as it cuts costs and hopes to organically grow the business by competing directly with fossil fuel power generation. Now if it could only do something about those cheap natural gas prices.