Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ikea to start selling solar panels at UK stores

This is a solar story with all the great elements.  It is proof positive that solar has moved out of the experimental stage.  For years I have advised people to follow the Home Depot rule "Don't buy any technology until they start selling it in places—like Home Depot—used to dealing with the problems of the general public."  Well, Ikea certainly qualifies.  This is really a big deal because MOST Ikea customers are barely qualified to assemble a desk much less install solar panels on a roof and hooking them into the electrical systems—no matter how reliable or cost effective the panels themselves may be.  After all, I once heard someone describe assembling a couple of Ikea kitchen cabinets as an "ordeal."

My guess is that Ikea will be providing more detailed installation manuals than their typical pictograph instructions.  In fact, they will probably recommend professional installers.  Even so, solar is well on its way towards being a normal player in the energy mix.  I have been waiting a very long time for this day.

Ikea to start selling solar panels at UK stores

TT/The Local/dl 30 Sep 2013

Ikea is set to start selling solar panels at all of its stores in the UK, a first for the Swedish furniture retailer as it looks to capitalize on a growing trend in green energy.

Following a successful pilot project selling photovoltaic systems at a store near London, Ikea plans to expand solar panel sales to all 17 of its stores across Britain, the Reuters news agency reported.

"We want to inspire and enable you to live a more sustainable life at home by offering products and services that will help you to save money, waste and energy," reads an Ikea website marketing the solar panels.

"We are also strongly committed to investing in renewable energy and 'energy-efficient' technology to help tackle climate change."

The move is also meant to help UK residents take advantage of green energy subsidies meant to encourage more sustainable energy production and help meet carbon emissions targets.

Ikea estimates that homeowners could save as much as $1,200 per year through subsidies and lower energy bills.

While the British solar panel market is relatively small compared to Germany and Spain, it's growing steadily with Reuters reporting year-on-year growth of home installations up 25 percent so far this year.

The Swedish furniture giant has billed itself a champion of clean energy, vowing to have 100 percent of its own energy needs met by wind and solar power by 2020. more


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