The WOW Files: IKEA Stores In U.K. To Start Selling Home Solar Systems

by • October 3, 2013 • Business, Charlie Rose, Design, Industrial And Product Design, Nature, Technology, The WOW FilesComments (0)1581

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When it comes to climate change, it seems the media is obsessed with bad news and bad news only.  The failure of news organizations to point out the things that are actually working in the fight against global warming might be one reason why so many millions of people have adopted a defeatist attitude with regards to turning this troubling situation around.  Yes, there are places in this world where the fight against global warming is making some significant progress.  Germany, for instance, is arguably the most remarkable of these bright spots.  To learn more about Germany’s mindblowing progress in the fight against climate change, and why the country has been nicknamed “Biosphere Valley,” you need to CLICK HERE and watch Charlie Rose’s brilliant interview with Jeremy Rifkin below.

And this morning there is another great story to report from Europe as well.  IKEA just announced that it will begin selling solar panels at all 17 of the retailer’s locations across the U.K.  Installation will come included with the purchase of the made-in-Germany PV systems (an expert will come to set it up for you).  Although the units are not cheap — $9,200 for the smallest 18″ panel (3.36 kilowatt array) — the unit will pay for itself within seven years thanks to reduced energy costs and government incentives.  Also included in the purchase is an in-store consultation, maintenance of the unit, as well as energy-monitoring services.  “We know that our customers want to live more sustainably, and we hope working with Hanergy [the China-headquartered thin-film solar panel manufacturer that will be providing installation, maintenance, etc.] to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that,” says Joanna Yarrow, head of IKEA Sustainability for the U.K. and Ireland.  The announcement comes on the heels of a hugely successful test project which saw one London IKEA store sell huge amounts of the PV solar panel unit.  Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer for the retailer, tells The Wall Street Journal that expanding into North America is a possibility and that the initiative is “a real business and if we take this to global scale it will be of course a commercial business — you’ve got to make some profit from it.”

IKEA is a famously green company, with an ambitious goal to achieve complete energy independence by the year 2020.  As Mother Nature Network writes: “In addition to being free of incandescent lighting, a majority of the company’s stores, distribution centers, and other facilities are already topped with solar arrays.  The company is also continuing to invest heavily in European wind farms.”

YOU CAN WATCH CHARLIE ROSE’S INTERVIEW WITH JEREMY RIFKIN BY JUMPING TO THE 32:44 MARK. 

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