Ikea to Make Wind Farm Investment in the UK

on Oct 24, 2012
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**Ikea’s Wind Farms in Britain to Power Small Town by 2015**

The world’s largest furniture maker Ikea announced plans to make a significant wind farm investment in the UK, The Times reported on 24 October 2012. After its vast blue and yellow out-of-town warehouses, flat-pack houses and budget hotels in Britain, the Swedish group is planning to build wind farms whose energy production is aimed be enough to power a small town by 2015.

Ikea already has a 33MW wind farm in Glotesvalen, Sweden, which is expected to generate at least as much energy as the company uses within 18 months. The furniture maker also has a 12MW wind farm in Huntly, Scotland, which provides 30 per cent of the energy used by the British outlets of the firm. The retail giant has also made solar investments in the UK, installing solar panels on nine stores and distribution centres across the country. And with the cost of solar panels expected to fall over the next few years, the company has pledged to make further installations in Britain.

**Wind Farm Investment Part of €1.5b Renewable Energy Initiative**
The announcement of Ikea’s wind farm investment in Britain, as well as other renewable energy projects across Europe and the United States, comes as part of the Swedish group’s new strategy, which has been developed to the point where Ikea plans to generate 70 per cent of its energy from renewables within three years and 100 per cent by 2020, limiting its exposure to rising electricity costs.

!m[Furniture Maker to Invest in Wind Power as it Pledges to Become Energy Independent ](/uploads/story/636/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)Under the plan, Ikea will invest €1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) in solar and wind power. The furniture retailer has already allocated €590 million (£476.8 million) to solar power and wind farms in Sweden, Britain, Germany, Poland and France. By spending almost €1 billion more (£809.3 million), Ikea will nearly double its renewable energy capacity, which currently accounts for 27 per cent of the group’s electricity demand.

**Declaring Energy Independence**
Ikea’s Chief sustainability officer Steve Howard said there was a straightforward business case for investing in renewables: “Energy prices are going to increase overall by perhaps 30 to 40 per cent in this decade and there will be more carbon pricing in markets around the world.” According to him, the investment which Ikea makes now should protect the company from both spikes in global and regional energy prices and the introduction of carbon legislation around the world.
Howard added: “We know we’re going to be using energy in 20 years’ time. If we can own our own renewable energy plants… it gives us complete price certainty.” He also indicated that Ikea could even become an energy exporter, potentially selling the surplus to suppliers or customers, generating attractive financial returns for the company. “All our solar [installations] pay back in 10 years or less and will last for 20 years,” Howard explained. “It’s a really good use for the money we’ve saved for a rainy day.”

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