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Ikea is selling solar panels in the UK again

Engadget Engadget 25/04/2016 Nick Summers
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The UK government slashed solar subsidies earlier this year, however Ikea is still determined to sell the dream of a solar-powered home in Britain. Today, the company has launched three "Solar Shops" that sit inside its stores in Glasgow, Birmingham and Thurrock. The solar panels are being offered in partnership with Solarcentury, a UK solar ambassador, along with expert advice and links to local installers. If all goes to plan, Ikea will expand the concept to all of its UK stores "before the end of the summer."

The flat-pack furniture specialist has offered solar panels before. In 2013, following a successful trial, the company began a similar roll-out across the UK. The initiative was supported by Hanergy, a Chinese renewable energy company, up until November last year. As the Guardian reports, the pair then went their separate ways roughly two months after the government announced plans to cut solar subsidies by almost 90 percent. Critics feared this would put off houseowners that were considering the technology as a way to save money on their electricity bill. Ikea's decision to pull out seemed to be, at the time, a direct response to the subsidy cuts.

Clearly, that wasn't the case. Ikea believes that the British public is still interested in the technology, and has conducted its own research to prove it. According to its own statistics (so take these with a healthy pinch of skepticism) a third of UK homeowners are still interested in buying solar panels. The key reason being, unsurprisingly, its potential to save them cash. That perception is important if the UK's solar adoption is to grow, lowering the public's reliance on fossil fuels in the process.


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