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First Solar is closing down factories and laying off 2,000 workers worldwide as part of its plan to survive lean times for the solar industry.

In recent years, the company has been the only non-Chinese company among the top five solar panel makers in the world; and it’s the only one that makes a type of solar panel called thin film that many experts believe could be the future of solar power.

Overproduction of solar panels, in part because of rapid industry growth in China, has led to low prices that are making it difficult for companies to survive. The layoffs amount to 30 percent of the company’s total workforce. 

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