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IKEA, the Swedish flat-pack furniture specialist and world’s largest furniture retailer, has announced that it will, for the first time, sell solar panels at all of its British stores. The plan fits into IKEA’s general support of the renewable energy sector, and is an attempt to capture the growth that is steadily occurring in the UK green energy market.
After a successful test project at the Lakeside store to the east of London, which has been selling one photovoltaic system on average every day, IKEA has decided to begin offering the same solar panel package in all of its 17 stores across the country within the next 10 months.
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Britain does not have the largest of solar markets compared with other European countries, such as Germany and Spain, but thanks to government subsidies it has grown steadily, with year on year installations increasing by 25%. In an attempt to encourage more renewable installations to boost green energy generation and help meet the country’s legally binding carbon emission targets, the UK government offers subsidies for any electricity generated by solar power, and further subsidies if excess clean energy is produced and exported to the grid.
IKEA to sell solar PV panels made by Hanergy. (NPR)
IKEA determined that thanks to the generous subsidies, an average semi-detached house with a south facing roof could earn as much as £770 ($1,200) a year through subsidies and reduced energy bills.
IKEA has joined with Chinese thin-film PV solar manufacturer and energy utility Hanergy Holding Group Ltd, to offer a package that will include 18 solar panels for £5,700, and which should earn their cost back within seven years. As part of the package customers will also be offered an in-store consultation to explain the benefits of solar, installation, and maintenance.
Joanna Yarrow, the head of sustainability for IKEA in the UK and Ireland, said, “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.”
IKEA is a big supporter of renewable energy, already owning several wind farms across the continent, and installing solar panels at all of its stores, warehouses, and factories. The company has set itself the ambitious target of generating at least 70% of its energy from wind and solar by 2015, and a full 100% by 2020.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…