JinkoSolar, First Solar unveil 100% renewable power pledges

Smart manufacturing processes will help Jinko's renewables commitment. Image: JinkoSolar.

Solar manufacturers JinkoSolar and First Solar have pledged to derive 100% of their power demand from renewables amidst a set of wider goals.

While First Solar will be powered entirely by renewables by 2028 at the latest, JinkoSolar will do so by 2025.

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JinkoSolar’s commitment comes amidst a wider roadmap produced in line with its membership of the RE100, a group of companies that have committed to procuring 100% of their power from renewables sources.

As well as powering all of its facilities from renewables by 2025, Jinko has also pledged to build new factories in or near to renewable-rich regions, focus its R&D on the commercialisation of higher power and efficiency solar products and accelerate studies on the use of recycled or reduced materials in its manufacturing processes.

This will also include a focus on producing lighter and thinner panels, such as producing bifacial panels that are lighter through the use of a transparent backsheet, rather than glass.

Investments will be made to install energy efficiency technologies throughout its facilities and also explore the use of carbon-free soldering and other cleaner metallisation processes.

Dany Qian, vice president at JinkoSolar, said it “doesn’t make sense” that the company produces renewable energy equipment, but doesn’t exclusively use renewable energy itself.

“We are well positioned to lead the industry in the pursuit of giving the next generation a livable planet, an affordable and sustainable energy solution,” she said.

Meanwhile, First Solar has too established a commitment to join the RE100, pledging to power all of its solar manufacturing operations through the use of renewables by 2028. An interim target of ensuring all of its US-based facilities use 100% renewables by 2026 has also been set.

Those commitments cover both Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, those from the company’s owned and controlled source of emissions and those from energy purchased by the company directly. It does not include Scope 3 emissions – all other indirect emissions occurring throughout its value chain.

Mark Widmar, chief executive officer at First Solar, said the commitment was not one the company had taken lightly.

“It was essential for us to ensure that the promise that we make today is one that we can keep… With this pledge, we will further lower our embodied carbon footprint, already the lowest in the industry, and move towards realizing the full promise of cleaner solar,” he added.

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