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IKEA Aims for Energy Independence

08/12/11

  05:00:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 227 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, Commercial Solar

IKEA Aims for Energy Independence

IKEA Burbank Store with Solar

IKEA’s Burbank CA Store with Solar

We noticed before that furniture giant IKEA was installing solar at six stores in the U.S., but we had no idea that their ambition was so grand.  “The direction of travel for us is 100 percent renewable,” said chief sustainability officer, Steve Howard. “We’re likely to hit 70 to 80 percent by 2015."  Wow!

 

As a starting point - well beyond those six U.S. stores - IKEA is installing 39,000 solar panels on its stores in the UK as well as purchasing a 12.3 MW wind farm in the Scottish countryside.  Those two steps alone will cover 30% of IKEA’s UK electricity consumption.  Altogether, IKEA owns 67 wind turbines (in the UK, Denmark, Germany & France) with a combined generation capacity of 127 MW.

So why is IKEA making this investment in renewable energy sources?  That’s easy - to save money, just like any other company.  According to Howard, in the past, IKEA has been subjected to electricity price spikes that cost the company $1.7 billion (USD) per year.  By purchasing renewable energy sources, IKEA is able to avoid those spikes and lock-in its energy costs for the next two decades.

The lesson for U. S. companies (and particularly those in sunny SoCal) should be clear - solar is an investment that will pay handsomely to the bottom line while making the world a cleaner, healthier place.  Independence, after all, is such an American value!

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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