Clean Power

Published on May 21st, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


IKEA Gets Unsubsidized Rooftop Solar Power Plant In Italy

May 21st, 2014 by  

IKEA Solar Italy

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

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Kyle Field

    You’re just encouraging my Ikea love on purpose now…but thanks 🙂 I’m working on a 1.6MW system in my local area with an industrial facility which will hopefully be installed in the next 10 mos. 😀 I figure I can make more of an impact through influencing others vs just trying to do it all myself and it’s working 😉

  • elhigh

    I would be curious to know whether IKEA can provide a store-to-store comparison of what the shade of the panels does to their air conditioning bill, if they have a couple of stores, one with and one without, in approximately comparable climates.

    • JamesWimberley

      Good luck on getting any information at all out of the company. The shade data you could presumably rustle up with Google.

  • JamesWimberley

    Ikea has had solar car parks in Spain for a year now. They are keeping mum on the financial conditions, as Spanish solar policy is not only hostile but confused. They may have cut feed-in deals directly with their electricity supplier – all stores close on Sunday here. Certainly they aren’t getting any subsidy or incentive FIT. The company is owned by a family foundation, now domiciled for tax reasons in the Netherlands. So they can take a long view.

    Another big European green retailer to watch is the quoted French supermarket chain Casino (link), which is the largest such in Latin America. World revenue is €41bn, a tenth of WalMart’s. It’s been installing solar since 2009.

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