IKEA invests in wind farms to become 100% renewable energy powered
Technological growth in past century exhausted natural energy resources, so technology of this century turned towards the renewable energy. Large companies as investors are to be main drivers of renewable energy incentives and investments. Scientific research projects and experiments in the field of renewable energy, like solar energy and wind energy need supporting sponsorships.
IKEA, Swedish furniture giant, is an example of company that realised its importance in developing the renewable energy and has been heavily investing in wind and solar energy. IKEA’s long term goal is to use 100% renewable energy resources for its operations around the world. It already installed approximately 340.000 solar photovoltaic panels to the rooftops of its stores. Furthermore, it owns or operates about 100 wind turbines and at some stores have installed electric vehicle charging stations.
IKEA is emerging as one of Europe’s highest-profile wind farm operators. For more than 10 years Swedish Group has been constantly investing in wind energy capacities around the world.
The latest one is also the biggest one. At summer this year IKEA announced construction of the wind farm on Glötesvålen, a mountain in Härjedalen, Sweden. This is one of the largest wind power investments to date in the Nordic countries. The 30 new wind turbines at Glötesvålen wind farm is estimated to produce a total of 220 GWh (90MW) a year. That amount of electricity produced for its own needs is the amount that could power approximately 48.000 average households in one year. The wind farm should be operational by the end of 2014. The shift to wind farm electricity would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 176.000 tonnes.
As Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA Group explained, they are very proud that “by only using wind power in Sweden, (they) will be self-sufficient in electricity in Sweden, generating enough to supply all IKEA buildings and operations in the country, and to supply IKEA stores in other countries with wind power.”
To reduce the carbon footprint in the future, during the 2011, IKEA has invested in the construction of its first wind farm in Sweden with a nine wind turbines. Also, later that year, IKEA purchased the wind farm in Huntly, Aberdeenshire in North Scotland. The wind farm of 12,3 Megawatt (MW) capacity consists of seven 1,75 MW wind turbines generating total of 24,7 million kWh electricity per year from renewable energy source.
The renewable energy strategy was active even before 2010 when IKEA bought six German wind turbines from Gamesa, the Spanish wind turbine group, with a generating capacity of 45MW and thus completed existing wind capacities in France and Denmark.
Current total of around the 100 wind turbines with a180MW capacity was backed-up with billions EURs investments. And they are not stopping it here.
Under the plan, IKEA will invest almost two billion $ in solar and wind power to produce at least 70% of the group’s energy by 2015. The company plans to get all of its energy from renewable power sources by the end of the decade.
John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK said:
“The new IKEA wind farms are transforming words into action in a powerful way. It’s part of IKEA’s 100% renewable electricity plan that should be a beacon for other companies to follow. IKEA are providing a powerful voice to those who believe a better energy future for the world will come through energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. Together, governments, organisations and individuals can change the way the world generates and uses energy.”