The closest you’ll get to wind power as you walk round any Ikea store is a free-standing floor fan. But the successful Scandinavian furniture producer and retailer has been an investor in wind power for some years, and is now to buy an Irish wind farm.
The Carrickeeny wind farm in County Leitrim, north-west Ireland, hasn’t yet been built- but is is scheduled to be completed in 2014. As part of the deal, the company Mainstream (see below) will continue to operate the project on behalf of Ikea for 20 years. Ikea said it aims to spend EUR 1.74 billion on solar and wind energy to 2015. What turbines? The project will use four Enercon E82-E2 wind turbines, one of which is pictured here-
The IKEA Group has plans to invest £1.5bn in wind energy and solar programmes up to 2015. Wind energy is a key part of IKEA Group’s sustainability strategy to generate as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. This acquisition will increase the total number of wind turbines that the IKEA Group has committed to owning and operating to 137. Why can’t more companies be this responsible and see that the future is renewable energy?
Commenting on the deal, Mainstream Renewable Power’s Chief Executive Eddie O’Connor said:
“Mainstream Renewable Power is delighted to be partnering with IKEA, a true world leader in corporate sustainability. Partnering with corporations who want to own wind and solar plant is a very exciting and growing part of Mainstream’s global business. We are being approached by a growing number of energy-intensive corporations in the retail, IT and mining sectors who want to invest in our large portfolio of wind and solar plant being developed across four continents. Owning wind and solar plant makes a lot of sense for them on a number of levels. As the cost of the fuel is free the more of it they have the more stability and certainty they have in relation to their energy costs in the long-term. On top of that the more forward –thinking corporations are investing in wind and solar energy as part of their sustainability strategy, and IKEA is a fantastic example of this.”
Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability IKEA UK and Ireland said:
“Our investments in renewable energy not only help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our operations in Ireland, but also, together with our energy efficiency efforts, help to control our electricity costs so we can pass any benefits to our customers by continuing to offer high quality home furnishings at low prices. Companies, individuals or governments – we all have responsibility to address the resource dilemma and commit to a more sustainable future. Producing our own, affordable, renewable electricity gets us one step closer to becoming completely energy independent by 2020, while ensuring our commercial success.”
Ikea has been investing in European wind power since 2010. In 2011, the company took its capacity to 100MW with the acquisition a 12.3MW project in Scotland, UK.