IKEA UK To Invest Millions In Wind Energy And Solar Power

IKEA says it will invest heavily in solar and wind power sources for its 18 UK-based stores, as part of the Swedish furniture company’s “IKEA Goes Renewable” project.

The company states it will eventually power its entire global operation using 100 percent renewable energy. As part of the company’s push to greening its electricity supply, IKEA UK has purchased a wind farm in Northern Scotland and plans to install solar power systems on store rooftops across the country.

IKEA says that combined these measures will generate 30 percent of the company’s total electricity consumption in the UK and offset on average more than 10,500 tonnes of CO2 per year .

The renewable program has won praise from Greenpeace UK’s Executive Director, John Sauven.

“IKEA are providing a powerful voice to those who believe a better energy future for the world will come through energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy,” Mr Sauven said.

With seven 1.75MW turbines in operation, the wind farm in Aberdeenshire, North Scotland will generate a combined 24,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year and brings the number of wind turbines in IKEA’s global fleet to 67.

The company’s solar energy plan will involve spending £4 million (AUD$6.5 million) on the installation of over 39,000 solar panels spread over 31,000 square-metres of roof space on 10 IKEA stores. The solar power systems will provide enough clean energy for about five percent of each store’s needs.

Steve Howard, IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer says soon every IKEA rooftop will have solar panels installed.

“We aim for all IKEA UK buildings to be fitted with solar panels in the long-term. As well as reducing our impact on the environment, these initiatives come with a strong financial incentive as consuming less energy means we spend less money, which helps us lower the prices on our products.”

Last year, several of Ikea’s stores in Canada made the switch to solar power, using Sanyo HIT solar panels. More recently, REC solar panels were selected to be used on two Ikea stores in Germany.