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Massive corporations like Google and Facebook have made recent headlines with their commitments to renewable energy. One of the brands you might not have heard as much about is Swedish furniture giant IKEA – however, with ambitious solar and renewable energy plans, IKEA is becoming a brand to watch in the renewable energy space.
IKEA solar panels for sale
One way IKEA is investing in solar is by selling PV modules in their stores. According to PV Magazine, the company had planned to begin selling its “Solstrale” solar modules after the summer of 2019 in its home country of Sweden, with the ambitious goal of rolling out solar panel sales to all of its markets by 2025.
It’s still unclear what IKEA’s role will be in its planned solar panel business. The company had been operating an online solar panel business in Germany in early 2019, but consumer protection associations criticized and eventually derailed the venture on the grounds that IKEA didn’t make it clear that it was simply a platform to buy solar equipment, rather than the owner of the equipment and backer of the warranties. For those details, IKEA worked with a subcontracted solar company, much like Costco’s program with Sunrun.
Additionally, IKEA recently closed its solar panel offering in the UK due to the end of a feed-in tariff (FIT) incentive. In a statement, an IKEA spokesperson noted that “…we do not feel that the majority of new home solar customers will get a good deal,” given the closing of the tariff. Similar to Germany, IKEA had been working with a solar developer (Solarcentury) to actually install systems and provide warranty coverage.
IKEA doesn’t yet sell solar panels in the United States, but may in the near future.
Investments in solar and renewable generation by IKEA
While IKEA’s solar panel business remains limited in scope, availability, and current viability, the company is taking significant and concrete steps to reduce their own environmental impact.
IKEA began installing solar panel arrays on its own buildings in 2011 to cut its carbon footprint (they have over 900,000 solar panels installed on-site globally), and has more recently turned to massive solar farms to further offset their energy use. In September 2019, IKEA invested in two solar farms in the U.S. – one in Utah with 636,000 panels and another in Texas with 823,000 panels. IKEA owns 49 percent of the projects.
This model of renewable energy procurement and usage is different from many corporate renewable plans; IKEA actually owns and operates its own infrastructure, while companies like Google that tout their commitments to renewables generally purchase energy from solar and wind farms owned by other companies. According to IKEA’s holding company Ingka, their green energy infrastructure already generates more electricity than they use in stores, and they expect their entire supply chain to become climate positive by 2030.
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