Johan Stenebo is chief of an IKEA susidiary called Greentech, and a man with a dream. Stenebo wants to invest in the "cheapest, best" PV roof panels available in order to sell them in IKEA stores in the next two to four years.
Low-cost solar a tall order
Of course, that's a very tall order. But IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad's son Peter is an avowed green tech believer, and Stenebo's Greentech will put about US$75 million into at many as ten companies in five different areas: solar technology, energy conservation, water saving products, alternative lighting, and new product materials. Scandinavian companies are Greentech's first focus. Nearly all of these areas are ones we would welcome the IKEA low-cost approach to, although setting up solar roof panels with just the simplistic diagrams and little Allen keys that accompany IKEA's usual do-it-yourself furniture seems something of a stretch. Then there's the problem than many installations require building and other permits. But IKEA's fabulous distribution network of 270 global superstores would mean green tech for the global masses, a welcome development.
Solar supermarkets in four years?
Up until now, IKEA has held itself to interior decoration rather than pursuing the constructing and building sector that is dominated (at least in the U.S.) by players such as Lowe's and Home Depot. But these megastores haven't tried to sell green solutions in any organized fashion, so IKEA sees little current competition for its plans to get products to stores in three to four years. Via ::Miljö Aktuellt (Swedish)
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