IKEA to broaden solar panel sales beyond UK

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The world’s biggest furniture retailer has this week announced that it is to begin selling rooftop solar panels in eight additional countries following last year’s successful rollout campaign in the U.K.

IKEA Group, the Swedish-headquartered retailer of affordable furnishings, first began selling solar panels in its 18 U.K. stores last year having experienced encouraging success at its pilot scheme in the English county of Essex.

For the past 12 months, British IKEA-goers have been able to purchase Hanergy’s thin film solar PV panels for approximately $8,000 for 18 panels – an outlay that pays for itself after seven years based on the current U.K. feed-in tariff (FIT).

Such has been the success in the U.K. that IKEA will now widen this offering to eight other countries, including Switzerland and the Netherlands. The remaining six countries have not yet been named.

Speaking ahead of today’s UN Climate Summit in New York, IKEA CEO Peter Agnefjäll said: "We are determined to make sustainability both affordable and attractive to as many people as possible." Agnefjäll will attend the summit after marching with a 400,000 crowd on Sunday at the People’s Climate March.

IKEA has ramped up its environmentally friendly efforts over recent years. The company has pledged to ensure all plastic used in IKEA products is either 100% made from recycled sources by 2020, or replaced by wood.

With close to $2 billion in solar and wind investments committed globally, IKEA is on course to achieving a 50% energy generation goal from renewable sources within a decade.