For a while Ikea has been profiling itself as an environmentally green company fighting climate change and working for a sustainable future. To follow in that line they are now releasing the IKEA solar panels. An efficient, beautiful and cheap way to generate ones own residential electricity. 

Fighting climate change one step at a time

When you first arrive at a new IKEA store you will be met by a VIP parking area for those cars that run on bio fuel, electricity and other environmentally superior alternatives. At the entrances and exits you will find recycling bins for batteries and mercury rich light bulbs, there is also a bin for plastic and one for the carton packaging products come in.

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When walking through the giant IKEA stores you notice that all of the lighting will consist of Fluorescents or LED to save energy and minimize the carbon footprint. After the shopping when you sit down to eat your Swedish meatballs at the restaurant you can be certain that there will be a dessert waiting for you made from ecological ingredients. IKEA is fazing out its selling of compact fluorescent light bulbs and will soon only be offering the much more energy efficient LED versions. All batteries sold at the stores are from now on rechargeable, gone are the 10 packs of batteries to be used once and throw away to pollute nature later.

So far Ikea has invested almost 2 billion dollars to make all their stores run off renewable energy from their own wind power plants and IKEA solar panels on the shop roofs. The vision is to realize this by 2020, but in America the store chain is well underway with 34 of IKEAs malls boasting their own PV panels. So far having put up 500 000 solar units around the world

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IKEA furniture silhouettes

Photo: Public Domain Karen Arnold

IKEA solar panels now made available at your nearest furniture store

But IKEA doesn’t stop by making themselves benefiting from solar power. They want you to have the advantage of running your home of sustainable energy, and cheap as well. Therefor they are going to make the solar panels that they use, also available to their costumers. While these will come in a flat package just like any other IKEA product costumers won’t have to climb around on their roof installing the panels following hard to get instructions sheets. No, the IKEA Solar Panels will come with their own team of professional craftsmen to safely put the panels up for you.



How much do the IKEA solar panels cost?

A Standard UK home will consume about 500W per hour or 4600kWh/year of electricity. An array of 18 PV panels capable of producing 3300W per hour from IKEA will cost a family £5700n or $9,200 including installation and all the extra equipment necessary. This is a 15% discount provided them having an IKEA family card of course. This is a lot of money to pay upfront but IKEA offers its members the possibility to divide the payment into more manageable sums to be paid off in a couple of years.

Isn’t 3300W to much power for a family, you may ask? Since a regular  home only consumes 500W/hour? First of all we need to consider that in the UK the sun will only shine with its full potential for an average of 4,5h/day. It will shine more during the summer and less in the winter. This would give the panels a final effect of (3300W*4,5)/24h=619W/hour. Secondly one would have to prepare for the costumer not necessarily having a roof pointing exactly at the optimal direction of solar south. This would lower the electricity gathered by the IKEA solar panels even more, making the 3,3W IKEA solar system ideal for a standard 3 bedroom villa. If the solar power made is not used up by the family it won’t go to waste. Extra electricity can always be sold back to the Grid making it possible not only to save money on this deal, but even to make money.


A profitable arrangement for all parties

The average UK home will earn back their invested money in about 7 years and even faster if you live in a country with more sun. After that the IKEA Solar panels will continue to produce electricity for free at least until they reach the age of 25 and hopefully even longer. The first launch of the panels is currently in the UK but in time they will be sold in other countries around the world as well.


IKEA solar panels a creation of the latest technology and design

The panel’s offered are thin film solar panels, the cheapest technology of the 3 standard ones used today. Thin film panels are cheaper to make but demand a lot more roof space then their mono/poly crystalline cousins. They will also decline in effect much faster over the years. On the other hand they are much more beautiful in shiny all black, making them a stylish green energy ornament on your rooftop. Not to mention with the IKEA solar panels you will be acknowledged as the environmentally responsible one in your neighborhood.

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