IKEA Powers Ahead With Solar Energy Goals

In 2009, IKEA decided to install solar power systems on approximately 150 of its stores and distribution centers around the world. Its latest sustainability report shows good headway in meeting this goal.

The company reports during the 2010 financial year, the number of Ikea buildings with solar panels nearly doubled, from nine to seventeen. Ikea says it expects to more than double that number by the end of this year to around 40 buildings.

Among the countries that currently have or are soon to install solar panel systems are Spain, Germany, the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Belgium, Italy, the UK and France.

In California, 20,000 solar panels in total will be installed by the end of this year, generating an annual output of 6,650 megawatt hours of solar electricity and representing carbon dioxide reductions of over 900 cars.

By the end of last year, IKEA Canada had installed solar energy systems on three Ontario stores, which are expected to generated approximately 960 megawatt hours annually; enough to power around 100 homes.

In Canada, IKEA has been utilising Sanyo HIT modules and currently has the largest rooftop solar panel array in Ontario. Two IKEA stores in Germany will be fitted with REC solar panels.

IKEA says it has also boosted its investments in wind turbines in France and Germany, with 52 grid connected turbines installed or in the process of being installed. These installations are expected to generate around 95 GWh, the equivalent of 10 percent of the total electricity consumption in IKEA buildings during 2009.

In 2006,  IKEA decided that in the long term, all their buildings should be powered by renewable energy and that energy efficiency should improve by 25 percent compared to 2005.

The full IKEA Sustainability Report 10 can be viewed here (PDF)