IKEA Abandons UK Home Solar Sales After Subsidy Cut
Eight months after announcing an ambitious €1 billion (US$1.13 billion) global program to mitigate climate change, and five months after Britain’s government announced a sharp cut in solar subsidies, the world’s largest furniture retailer, has dropped solar panels from its offerings to U.K. householders.
IKEA made a splashy show of introducing the panels to its 17 U.K. stores in 2013. “We know our customers want to live more sustainably,” the company said at the time, “and we hope working… to make solar panels affordable and easily available helps them do just that.”
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Then last June the IKEA Foundation, the charitable arm of the family-owned company that had sales of €30 billion in 2014, announced a 2020 target to generate all the energy it uses from clean sources. It said it would invest €400 million by then to help “families and communities in nations vulnerable to impacts of climate change such as floods, droughts, and desertification.”
But on the consumer side, The Guardian reports, Ikea did not renew its supply contract for solar panels from Hong Kong-based Hanergy, and panels are no longer available at its UK outlets. According to a spokesperson, IKEA has “evaluated our business model, starting in the UK. [And] a new business model has been decided upon.”