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IKEA to start selling solar panels in American stores

As part of its goal to help customers reduce their individual carbon footprint, the Swedish home wear giant has partnered with a reputable solar company to sell affordable home panels in US stores.

By now, we all know that generating and improving widespread accessibility to clean energy is vital to slash our global reliance on fossil fuels, a primary contributor to climate change.

When solar panels first dropped (does Gen-Z remember a world before them?) they were astronomically expensive and financially out of reach for average households and small businesses.

Prices have been slowly declining with time, but in particularly gloomy countries where installations may not obtain a full charge each day, many would find it hard to justify forking out a minimum cost of £6,500 to power a single bedroom home.

That could be changing soon though, thanks to an exciting new partnership between the people’s favourite furniture store and US based solar energy company SunPower.  ‘Home Solar with IKEA’ is on mission to making solar panels more accessible to people just like you and me.

 

How to get your hands on IKEA’s solar panels

Although IKEA has already been selling solar panels to 11 of its markets including the UK, Italy, and Sweden, it’s likely our US readers are itching to attach sustainable, shiny pieces of magic metal to the top of their houses.

Be warned that depending on where you’re based, you may have to wait a little while longer.

The SunPower x IKEA branded solar panels are expected to launch this Autumn in select Californian stores. They will also only available to IKEA Family loyalty members, at least for now.

But one can only hope that this initiative signifies the industry’s interest in becoming more globally accessible, especially when I wrote an article about how the future of energy may well be sun-powered. And why would I make such a claim, you ask?

Well, you’re likely aware that the world has turned its back on Russian gas and oil. In a bid to generate energy independently, the world’s warmest nations have looked upward at their most reliable source of natural energy, posted right in the sky above every day.

For a few week or so, Portugal reigned the hydro-solar throne after inaugurating the world’s largest floating solar plant, comprised of 12,000 panels. Shortly after, Thailand overtook the European nation, opening a 720,000 square metre installation on the surface of one of its local reservoirs. Desculpe.

 

Greece proudly boasts a newly opened double-sided solar farm – the largest in Europe – and has the sun to thank as it soars rapidly beyond its national renewable energy targets set out in 2020.

Even in Africa, where abandoning fossil fuels has been historically viewed as an uphill battle, solar projects in Egypt, South Africa, and the continent’s largest plant in Morocco have proven that – with the right funding and planning – the sun could become one of Africa’s most powerful allies.

Still, in many of these places where solar power is booming, most households continue to rely on fossil fuel powered energy due to grids not reaching their local area.

If IKEA – or a similar company – was to sell their affordable panels to customers in these places, either could make a pretty penny while helping us save our planet.

What else has IKEA done for sustainability?

The home wear giant’s 2021 Sustainability Report was fully of ambitious ideas.

It outlined plans to innovate plant-based foods, commitments to making LED technology more efficient, supplying more spare parts for furniture to encourage repairs over replacement, and reducing the amount of plastic packaging around their products.

IKEA has already had success in its internal renewable energy projects, with its pairs of wind farms, solar farms, geothermal systems, as well as seven biogas-fuel cells, and 90 percent of stores and warehouses being fitted with solar panels.

The company is also making efforts towards circularity and climate positive goals, with 37 stores in the US accepting old, used IKEA furniture in exchange for store credits.

In a press release, IKEA’s CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, Javier Quinones said, ‘At IKEA, we’re passionate about helping our customers live a more sustainable life at home.’

He added, ‘We’re proud to collaborate with SunPower to bring this service to the U.S. and enable our customers to make individual choices aimed at reducing their overall climate footprint.’

Can’t be mad at that!

 

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