IKEA investing in wind farm to supply Dublin and Belfast stores
- 13 August 2013
LONDON: As part of its plan to go 100% renewable by 2020, IKEA has announced it is investing in a new wind farm in the North West of Ireland to power its Dublin and Belfast stores.
IKEA bought the wind farm in Carrickeeny, North-West Leitrim, from the global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power.
Mainstream, which has already begun to build the world-leading Swedish retailer's latest wind farm, will operate the plant for its 20-year life cycle from when it opens in 2014.
Once complete, the wind farm will have a capacity of 7.65 megawatts and an expected annual production of 25 gigawatt hours. IKEA aims to sell the electricity generated to Irish energy company Vayu, who will supply electricity to IKEA stores in Dublin and Belfast.
The Irish acquisition increases IKEA’s total number of wind turbines to 137. Wind energy is central to the IKEA Group’s sustainability strategy to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. To help reach that goal, the retailer has set aside €1.5 billion (US$2.5 billion) for renewable energy investments up to 2015.
Speaking at the announcement, Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability IKEA UK and Ireland, said: “Our investments in renewable energy not only help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our operations in Ireland, but also, together with our energy efficiency efforts, help to control our electricity costs so we can pass any benefits to our customers by continuing to offer high quality home furnishings at low prices. Companies, individuals or governments – we all have responsibility to address the resource dilemma and commit to a more sustainable future.
She added: "Producing our own, affordable, renewable electricity gets us one step closer to becoming completely energy independent by 2020, while ensuring our commercial success.”
Commenting on IKEA’s aims for energy independence earlier this year, Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA had said: "We have made a commitment to go 100% powered by renewable energy by 2020, but not just buying it off the grid or through green certificates; we said we will own our renewable energy. We have a subsidiary target of 70% by 2013, and are at a little over 34% today. Over the last couple of years we have installed over 300,000 solar panels on our stores and we have invested in wind farms; we now own 126 wind turbines in 5 countries. […] We have provisioned that by about 2025 we will invest about 1.5 billion EUR in renewables.”
IKEA is a corporate lead partner of The Climate Group's Clean Revolution Campaign. Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, commented on IKEA's Sustainability Strategy released at the end of last year: “To accelerate the scale up of clean energy and move to a low carbon economy we need businesses to take decisive and proactive leadership that translates into transformative change. [...] We urge other businesses to follow IKEA’s lead and place sustainability at the heart of business planning.”
Image by Richard Huber