Don't Worry, We'll Quiet Skeptics: First Solar CEO

First Solar CEO: Understands Skepticism, Comfortable With Guidance

Despite the financial woes battering solar panel manufacturers, alternative energy still has a bright future, First Solar CEO James Hughes said Thursday.

Decrying what he called the market's "U.S.-centric view of the world," Hughes said the buildup of energy sources such as natural gas was taking a toll on solar power.The prices per watt—a measure of how much a company makes from silicon production and solar panel manufacturing—has hit the industry hard, he added.

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"Solar pricing has fallen so dramatically so fast, many people do not understand" how the industry has been affected, Hughes said. Still, he insisted that First Solar could stake out a value proposition, as analysts question whether the industry can survive without government subsidies and creative accounting.

"I understand the skepticism, and we take it as a challenge that we have to execute and prove to investors that we're going to deliver what we've indicated," Hughes said.

First Solar's stock has bucked the trend of a sector beset by falling share prices—its shares are up more than 68 percent this year and trading just shy of a 52-week high. Most publicly traded solar companies are China-based panel manufacturers suffering in sympathy with Suntech Power, which recently filed for bankruptcy.