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Blog: Why IKEA is betting on solar, and how others can benefit from the clean energy revolution - News

16 October 2017, 0:00 UTC 4 min read

Clean energy solutions such as solar and storage can help to meet growing energy demands. As IKEA Group launches a home solar offer in Belgium, Alejandro (Alex) Castro Pérez, Head of Home Solar Business at IKEA Group, blogs on why the company is betting on solar as a business, and how others can also profit from the clean energy revolution. 

Growth, electrification, connectivity and automation will keep global energy demand rising for the foreseeable future. Everything we do, everything we produce and consume requires energy. And everything that can go electric is going electric. Unfortunately, despite progress on renewables, the vast majority of electricity today is still generated by power plants that contaminate our environment. In fact power generation represents the largest source of carbon pollution globally, which is a major contributor to premature deaths and escalating climate change. The good news: decisive action to introduce clean energy solutions faster will result in greater profits and prosperity; especially for those taking the lead.

Energy is one of the biggest challenges (and opportunities) of our time; sitting at the heart of sustainable growth & circularity

At IKEA we have invested in the past years determined to reduce energy use and to produce as much clean energy as we consume in our operations. We are founding members of RE100 and EV100, both cross-industry initiatives aiming to accelerate corporate adoption around renewables and electric vehicles. However we know we can and should do more. In order to fulfill our vision to create a better everyday life for the many, and to reach our growth ambitions with positive impact, we need to push our boundaries to inspire and empower many others to join the clean energy revolution.

Solar energy is a main enabler of this revolution. It is an unlimited, non-polluting resource that nowadays can be harnessed very effectively and reliably from anywhere, through photovoltaic (PV) systems. Solar PV (and complementary energy management solutions such as battery storage) is uniquely positioned to drive the transition to the clean, nimble and more democratic energy future we need. A gateway to "the enernet".

"The enernet": a network with millions of homes, buildings and vehicles powered by affordable clean energy - producing, storing and sharing it smartly. 

The potential of solar is evident in its growing popularity thanks to unbeatable cost, environmental and application flexibility advantages. Despite this rising popularity, its adoption rate is too slow. Most people are waiting for more affordable and simpler solutions from providers they can trust. There is a clear need to reduce complexity in communication, sales and installation processes, and get it done efficiently at scale. Here we know IKEA can make a difference, so we've created Home Solar; a new business area dedicated to help accelerate the transition towards affordable clean energy.

With IKEA Home Solar we are putting our retail strengths, our knowledge of life at home and our trusted brand, in partnership with great clean energy companies, to deliver better solar energy solutions. We continue growing the business in existing and new markets; developing our offer with storage, finance and subscription services. In line with who we are, and being a leader in life at home, we aim at becoming the 1st global solar retailer, inspiring and empowering more people to take positive action for the sake of both their wallets and the environment. In the process we are building new knowledge and network to help us shape the future of life at home.

A next step could be to use our expertise and partner network to help other companies (including our thousands of suppliers) to adopt solar and other clean energy solutions faster and cheaper. All this in turn will help us implement solutions to support the growth of our own operations even faster... the size of the opportunity when taking a total value chain approach is staggering; taking us from millions to billions (pick your preferred currency and pollution displacement unit). We know it will not be easy, but it will be worth it. The great advantage of keeping a sustainable business growth mind-set is that we can’t lose; we either win or we learn – on top of the satisfaction of being a positive force.

Our choices define us. Anyone can contribute to accelerate the needed transition towards affordable clean energy. Governments, non-profits, businesses or individuals; we all have choices to make, roles to play and opportunities to find sustainable profitable growth through it. 

Those acting decisively to deliver greater social, environmental and economic prosperity will no doubt see a better future... so let's get moving!