Ikea re-evaluates home solar power business model
Major furniture retailer Ikea has stopped selling solar panels in its UK stores, just two years after launching them in a blaze of publicity.
The Swedish retail giant has ended its partnership with Hong Kong-based supplier Hanergy and has quietly withdrawn the solar panels from its 17 British outlets. Commentators have suggested that the move is a response to the UK government's announcement of major cuts to solar power subsidies. Although Ikea has not given an official reason for the decision, a spokesperson claimed it had re-evaluated its business model and had decided not to renew its contract with Hanergy Solar UK.
In its UK & Ireland Sustainability Report, published at the end of last year, Ikea announced it was looking into a broader range of solar technologies and would be relaunching its line of sustainable energy products this year.
A number of Chinese companies are reportedly keen to work with Ikea on developing new offerings for the home solar power market. Storage products and solar power units connected to smart meters are among the possible options that have been suggested.
Ikea has previously pledged £1bn to renewable energy research and efforts to alleviate the impact of climate change in poorer countries. It has also stated that it hopes to run all its stores and factories on clean energy by 2020; therefore, the company remains committed to solar power.
Despite the cut in government subsidies, the Solar Trade Association says solar power is still an attractive option for UK householders.
Published by Green Jobs Online - 10th February 2016