Energy

Ikea takes aim at UK power prices with new solar battery

Ikea takes aim at UK power pri...
Ikea's new solar battery can be bundled with its rooftop panels 
Ikea's new solar battery can be bundled with its rooftop panels 
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Ikea's new solar battery can be bundled with its rooftop panels 
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Ikea's new solar battery can be bundled with its rooftop panels 

Ikea has been a serious player in the realm of renewable energy, vowing to produce more than it uses by the year 2020. And now the furniture make is encouraging residents of the UK to follow its lead, today announcing a new battery built specifically to store energy captured from rooftop solar panels.

When it comes to Ikea and solar panels themselves, it has been something of an on-again off-again affair. The retailer started selling solar panels in its UK stores back in 2013, but government cuts to solar subsidies saw it withdraw that offering before reintroducing them again last year.

In any case, it now sells solar panels made by provider Solarcentury, and has today announced a Solar Battery Storage pack to capture the energy that they (or customers' existing solar panels) harvest.

Ikea says that the average home with rooftop solar in the UK consumes around 40 percent of the electricity it captures, with the remainder fed back into the grid. It says by storing this energy through its new solar battery, this number should double to 80 percent and cut up to 70 percent off electricity bills.

The solar battery itself starts at £3,000 (about US$4,000), and while it can work with existing rooftop solar setups, it can also be bundled together with panels from Solarcentury. Cost estimates are through its online calculator, which is similar in a way to Google's Project Sunroof which calculates how much rooftop solar can shave off energy bills. The battery is available to UK customers via the Ikea website, with installation said to take as little as three weeks.

Source: Ikea

Ikea has been a serious player in the realm of renewable energy, vowing to produce more than it uses by the year 2020. And now the furniture make is encouraging residents of the UK to follow its lead, today announcing a new battery built specifically to store energy captured from rooftop solar panels.

When it comes to Ikea and solar panels themselves, it has been something of an on-again off-again affair. The retailer started selling solar panels in its UK stores back in 2013, but government cuts to solar subsidies saw it withdraw that offering before reintroducing them again last year.

In any case, it now sells solar panels made by provider Solarcentury, and has today announced a Solar Battery Storage pack to capture the energy that they (or customers' existing solar panels) harvest.

Ikea says that the average home with rooftop solar in the UK consumes around 40 percent of the electricity it captures, with the remainder fed back into the grid. It says by storing this energy through its new solar battery, this number should double to 80 percent and cut up to 70 percent off electricity bills.

The solar battery itself starts at £3,000 (about US$4,000), and while it can work with existing rooftop solar setups, it can also be bundled together with panels from Solarcentury. Cost estimates are through its online calculator, which is similar in a way to Google's Project Sunroof which calculates how much rooftop solar can shave off energy bills. The battery is available to UK customers via the Ikea website, with installation said to take as little as three weeks.

Source: Ikea

4 comments
Simon Redford
A few simple calculations suggest that this battery storage option is unlikely to pay for itself over its lifetime, i.e. before the batteries need replacement! If you generate 3,000 kWh pa and benefit from an additional 40% of this generation as suggested, then even at an optimistic future value of 20p/kWh avoided electricity purchase, this amounts to over 12 years simple payback for a £3,000 battery. Try experimenting with the Solarcentury calculator with and without battery options and you get a much more pessimistic picture and find that the battery option appears to be far more than £3,000 for a typical installation. A much more cost effective solution is a simple controller that dumps excess PV output to an immersion tank heater for summer hot water.
Martin Winlow
Well, 12 years still might work in some scenarios eg a new build with a significant distance to bring in mains electricity (so going off-grid, basically) but do bear in mind we already have a clue as to where the government think electricity prices are going with the base price of electricity from Hinkley Point C pegged at 3 times what it costs now...
The other thing to consider is that in terms of the cost of this sort of technology we are at the very earliest stages of its introduction and, like any other consumer technology since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, prices have come down over time. This will be no exception. In fact, as I write I can get hold of about 35kWh of lithium battery storage for only £2K!
Simon Redford
It’s true that the cost of batteries will undoubtedly come down over time, but for this offer the costs make no sense whatsoever. The £3,000 cost is more like £4,000 for a typical installation from what I see on the website. The life of the batteries is unlikely to be 12 years – 4,000+ cycles if you assume one charge/discharge per day. There’s also the turn-round efficiency to consider and the real cost of capital rather than simple payback. Although electricity is really too good to use simply for heat (without a heat pump), from an user value perspective the best thing you can do with excess solar power is to heat hot water in an immersion tank so avoiding the gas or oil you would otherwise use to heat the water. Users can also time washing machines and dish washers to run when the sun shines – basic cheap or no cost measures to make the best use of the power produced.
Nik
Solar power for a homeowner is a scam, that will never pay for itself in middle or northern Europe. It might just pay, but only IF the panel array can follow the sun, which is unlikely, and there was no cloudy rainy days, which is even more unlikely. Most people also forget to add in the cost of decommissioning, removal, and disposal, and roof repairs when the system reaches the end of its life. Solar panels also deteriorate over their life, so final output is significantly lower than when first installed.