When it comes to clean energy, I don’t think there’s a non-cleantech company that deserves more love than IKEA. IKEA is the clear leader in renewable energy by many relative terms (installed renewable energy per acre of rooftop, per $1 of revenue, per store, etc).
So, it’s not surprising to find out that IKEA is one of the first companies to take advantage of competitive unsubsidized solar power in Italy. Here’s the news:
Martifer Solar, a subsidiary of Martifer SGPS, has delivered one of the first unsubsidized solar power plants in Italy for the Ikea Group on the rooftop of a new commercial store in Pisa, Tuscany. The project has a total capacity of 696.15 kWp and has been structured without a feed-in-tariff approach.
This realization is a breakthrough in terms of a solar PV business model because it provides Italy with the possibility to build a stable solar industry without the reliance on government incentives. The power generation from this PV project will be at a Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE), which is equal to or less than the price of electricity being sold from the grid.
“As a future-oriented company, Martifer Solar achieved a historical milestone with this project completed together with IKEA Group. This achievement means that solar energy is as cost-competitive as any other energy source in Italy and principally, without subsidies. The solar industry is approaching grid parity in an increasing number of places worldwide,” says Henrique Rodrigues, CEO of Martifer Solar…. The grid parity project, with approximately 2,700 modules installed on fixed structures, will produce the equivalent amount of electricity for nearly 800 inhabitants and will avoid 373 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
As I reported back in March, Italy and Germany are both now at commercial solar grid parity. That means that, without any extra support whatsoever, commercial-scale solar power plants are competitive with electricity from the grid. Furthermore, they offer protection against rising electricity prices!
Coming back to IKEA, the furniture company recently announced a US wind farm that would provide 165% of its US electricity needs, it delivered a 2013 sustainability progress report that actually deserves to be called that, and it announced several other clean energy projects that demonstrate its commitment to achieving its 100% renewable energy by 2020 target. The first non-cleantech corporation that came to mind when I thought clean energy used to be Google, but now it’s IKEA.
Top image credit: Martifer Solar