First Solar to surpass US$1 billion in cumulative R&D spending in 2016

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Between 2002 and 2015, First Solar has funded cumulative R&D activity to the tune of almost US$923 million.

Leading PV thin-film producer First Solar is set exceed US$1 billion in cumulative R&D spending in 2016, the first solar PV manufacturer to do so, according to the latest annual R&D spending analysis undertaken by PV Tech. 

First Solar has been the perennial big spender amongst 12 key PV module manufacturers tracked by PV Tech since 2007, ranking the highest in annual R&D expenditure every year since 2009. 

Between 2002 and 2015, First Solar has funded cumulative R&D activity to the tune of almost US$923 million, spending US$130.6 million in 2015. In the first quarter of 2016, First Solar spent US$30.2 million on R&D, indicating expenditure in 2016 to be in the region of US$120 million and topping the US$1 billion milestone for the first time. 

First Solar’s R&D leadership position amongst the 12 key PV module manufacturers tracked by PV Tech is such that it’s nearest spending rival SunPower is expected to exceed US$500 million in cumulative R&D spending in 2016, reaching half the level of First Solar. 

Full R&D rankings and analysis of the leaders and laggards for 2015 will be published on PV Tech next Monday. 

In the first quarter of 2016, First Solar spent US$30.2 million on R&D, indicating expenditure in 2016 to be in the region of US$120 million and topping the US$1 billion milestone for the first time.

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