Ikea is putting $75 million into selling solar panels. Hopefully the company that popularized cheap furniture can do the same for cheap solar power.
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.