With the global warming crisis, governments and businesses across the world are turning to alternative sources of energy to cut down on their carbon footprint. Solar power is an attractive option to many, due to its ready availability and the potential to generate a steady source of power. The only inhibiting factor is the one time set up and installation cost. Despite government subsidies, uptake of solar power is still slower than predicted. Recently, the Swedish furniture giant IKEA has become one of the first companies to contract a solar panel project without any form of public funding.
How IKEA Aims to Harness Solar Energy
IKEA installed a large solar panel system on one of the roofs of its largest Italian store in Pisa. Over 2700 solar panels were used in the project. These were hoisted onto special mounted frames and assembled on site. It is estimated that solar heat can generate 696.15 kWp of energy, powering all the electricity needs of the store. The amount of energy is estimated to be equivalent to the usage of 800 people, with the overall costs similar to that supplied from the power grid. It is also reported that solar O&M service from Martifer Solar would be part of this project. It is hoped that other businesses would follow in IKEA’s footsteps and set up similar units, especially in the developing world such as China or India.
IKEA has helped boost solar energy as a viable and cheap renewable energy source. Its stores are now selling affordable photovoltaic systems and helping individuals to build solar panels on their roofs. Harnessing power from the sun is likely going to be a popular option with rising energy costs and austerity measures. Significant savings can be made in electricity bills for ordinary homeowners. Technological advances have also meant a fall in the price of solar panels, making them more attractive than a decade ago. Though it takes a few years to recuperate the costs of the panel, this is outweighed by the benefits of long term energy savings.
And if this isn’t enough Ikea has also contracted for a 3.6-megawatt solar project in 7 stores in Australia to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere. When completed this will be one of the largest installations in the word. Ikea’s goal is to be energy independent by 2020.
The IKEA furniture store is investing in alternative energy in a big way by delving into the solar energy market. The company has showcased its commitment to sustainable energy with the installation of the new solar energy systems. The success of these projects will be a significant boost to the local industry and helps to set IKEA as an environmentally responsible business leader in the renewable energy market.