IKEA have made a headline grabbing return to the domestic solar panel market, only months after ending the relationship with their original partner, the Hong Kong firm Hanergy Thin Film Power Group. This time round, they have teamed up with one of the most established names in the market, Solar Century, to offer an affordable solar energy package. This will initially be available in three stores and online, with this being extending to all of their UK stores by the end of the summer.
While IKEA takes pride in its green credentials, this appears to be more than just a publicity stunt pulled in the wake of the government’s decision to cut subsidies for solar energy generation. While providing a good deal for IKEA’s customers, the partnership also provides a timely new route to market for Solar Century, who are feeling the pinch after the dramatic dip in sales of new solar systems as a result of the government subsidy cuts. Backed by customer demand, and in line with the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, the move has clear benefits for both partners, as well as their customers.
What remains to be seen is whether partnerships such as this, and the increased competition they bring, can undo much of the damage done by government cuts to green energy subsidies.
For more on this, look out for our Analyst Insight piece, coming soon.