TG: Ikea Solar Panels


Ikea to Sell Solar Panels in UK Stores

Solar panel packages will be offered at all 17 British Ikea stores within next 10 months.

By Reuters, September 30 2013.

Ikea is to sell solar panels at its British stores for the first time in an attempt to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.

The world’s biggest furniture retailer, best known for cheap basics such as its Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, plans to offer solar panel packages at all of its 17 British stores within the next 10 months.

Ikea said the move follows a successful pilot project at its Lakeside store to the east of London, which sells one photovoltaic (PV) system almost every day.

Britain offers subsidies to encourage the takeup of PV panels, which harness the power of sunlight and transform it into electricity, in an attempt to boost greener energy production and help it meet legally binding targets to cut carbon emissions.

A solar panel owner receives subsidies for generating solar-sourced electricity as well as exporting excess power into the grid. An average semi-detached house with a south-facing roof would earn as much as £770 a year through subsidies and savings on energy bills, an Ikea case study showed.

Ikea’s offer of panels made by China’s Hanergy Holding Group Ltd, a power producer and manufacturer of thin-film PV panels, involves a minimum spend of £5,700, for which customers get 18 panels, which should break even within roughly seven years.

“We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and we hope working with Hanergy to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that,” said Joanna Yarrow, Ikea’s head of sustainability in the UK and Ireland.

Britain’s solar market is small compared with green energy leaders such as Germany and Spain, but it has posted regular growth, with year-on-year installations rising 25% in September to 1.7 gigawatts.

Ikea customers will receive a package that includes in-store consultation, installation and maintenance of the panels.

The Swedish company has its own ambitious clean energy target, aiming to source at least 70% of its energy needs from wind and solar by 2015 and 100% by 2020.

See Ikea to Sell Solar Panels in UK Stores, The Guardian, September 30 2013.

(Emphasis added)