Even if you don’t live in a major city, you’ve heard of the well-loved home decor store. Swedish based, the company offers everything from furniture to kitchen cabinets and children’s products. Before too long, they will also be offering solar panels.
Wait, solar panels?
That hasn’t been something ever associated with them before, but just this month IKEA announced plans to spend $77 million on research and development of retail solar panels and green products over the next five years.
Commercial Prospects for Solar
“Ikea GreenTech plans to focus on five areas — solar panels, alternative light sources, product materials, energy efficiency, and water saving and purification. The group said the investments will be made in companies that offer commercial prospects within a four to five year horizon”-cleantech®.
IKEA’s long-term goal is to develop products that they can sell in their stores and use in their facilities. They plan to work with up to 10 companies total, only accepting the best and most affordable products. Their progressive mission is to contribute to making solar and green products more affordable for consumers, and as a result more widely used and accepted.
Solar in Ikea-Made Homes
IKEA has 270 stores in 35 countries, but did you know that they also have begun selling houses? They are already offering prefab houses that come equipped with solar and geothermal energy for heat and electricity, and that are built out of renewable materials. Long-term plans include incorporating some of the new products developed by this program into these homes. It is exciting to see more money and research being focused on the development of solar and eco-friendly products. With a popular, world-wide retail giant like IKEA leading the way, it is sure to draw more attention.
image credit: FutureThinkTank