30 January 2014 — Following the success of solar energy installations on its United States stores, furnishings retailer IKEA will soon announce a solar energy program for Australia, according to a company spokesperson.

Solar hot water is already being used at some Australian locations, including Homebush and Tempe, however a boost to the company’s renewable energy commitment is essential to meeting the corporate goal of energy self-reliance by 2020.

Almost 90 per cent of IKEA’s buildings in the United States are equipped with solar panels on the rooftop for renewable energy generation, and globally the firm has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. Existing renewable energy capacity includes more than 300,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and the ownership and operation of approximately 137 wind turbines in Europe.

Just this week IKEA’s latest solar installation comprising 2492 panels was commissioned at the company’s store near Denver, Colorado. The 623 kilowatt system will supplement an existing system, delivering a combined energy generation capacity of over 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power annually. This solar array is the largest in the state and, together with the store’s geothermal energy system, will make the store almost entirely energy self-sufficient.