The multinational furniture giant IKEA will soon begin selling residential solar panels in its stores in the Netherlands, as per recent reports.
The move is part of a new partnership between the thin-film module manufacturer Hanergy and IKEA. The solar panels will at first only be offered in the Haarlem region — but availability will then be expanded to encompass to the Utrecht region as well, within a month. After that, the partnership will be rolled out in a number of other countries — in Switzerland in December, followed by roll-out in six other countries within the near-future.
The starting price for the panels, for Dutch customers, will be €3200 — with an average installation price for a 2.5kW system being about €4400. Reportedly, though, “IKEA Family” members will receive a 15% discount — so that lessens the cost somewhat.
The expansion into the Netherlands is following on the heels of a successful pilot project in the UK — which has, impressively, seen more than 1,500 solar systems sold since it began last October in Southampton, UK.
According to the figures out here by IKEA and Hanergy, installing one of the solar systems can save the typical customer in the Netherlands about €463 a year on energy bills. Which amounts to a 10.5% return on investment within only the first year.
Owing to the relatively large percentage of citizens there who have an awareness of the cost-savings potential of home solar systems, the new partnership is likely to be something of a success in the Netherlands. No doubt, this is one of the reasons for IKEA starting the roll-out in that market, as well as the fact that the Netherlands has relatively high electricity prices.
Lisen Wirén, the sustainability manager for IKEA Netherlands, stated that the new systems are targeted at consumers “who want to live sustainably and save energy at the same time, without too high an investment.”
No question about that. If I owned my own house, I would have bought solar myself years ago. With such home solar systems becoming mainstream enough for IKEA to carry them, things are looking rather rosy for the industry.
IKEA has a wonderful history of using and now offering solar power. It is probably the leader in the world of big corporations for how much renewable energy it uses relative to its total electricity usage. It has also been a leader in the Big Box sale of electric bikes and LEDs, as well as installation of EV charging stations and wind power plants. It intends to produce enough renewable energy to meet 100% of its energy needs by 2020.
Image Credit: IKEA