Brits can now buy solar panels at Ikea

Source: By Adam Vaughan, London Guardian • Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Swedish furniture giant better known for cheap furniture and aromatic cinnamon buns has a new item on the shelves: solar panels.

In a partnership with Solarcentury, Ikea will begin selling the panels to its U.K. customers this summer, both online and at three locations, to start out.

The move comes as the United Kingdom is weakening its subsidies for solar. Still, Ikea is moving ahead with its plan, its second attempt to sell panels in the United Kingdom after an earlier partnership with Chinese company Hanergy, which ended last year.

“Obviously the climate has been changing in the past year in the U.K., but, nonetheless, our research showed a third of homeowners would really like to invest in solar, and the majority of those are driven by the opportunity to save money,” said Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability at Ikea UK and Ireland.

“Even though the feed-in tariff rate has come down, you’re still going to get a 6 percent rate of return on a solar installation,” said Yarrow.

Activists welcomed the move.

“Over the past decade, things have changed dramatically as the price has come down and the efficiency, even in cloudy skies, has gone up,” said John Sauven, Greenpeace UK’s director. “Now solar power is widespread enough for most of us to know someone who’s chosen to invest.”