Are Ikea’s solar panels a good deal?
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Swedish home furniture giants Ikea are to begin selling solar panels in all 18 UK based stores within 10 months, following a successful trial period, but do they offer value for money and should you even consider buying solar panels from a furniture store?

Firstly, their price of £5,700 for a 3.36kW system, which is the size for a typical semi-detached property, is expensive. Comparing pricesfrom accredited solar installers shows that a larger 4kW system can now be installed for under £5,000, and a 3kW system for as low as £4,000. Though Ikea have to start somewhere

On the plus side the investment figures still stack up, with Ikea’s smaller 3.36kW system, on a south-facing roof in Southampton, forecast to earn £770 each year from the Government Feed-in-Tariff (guaranteed for 20 years) – meaning you can recoup the cost within just 7 years.

Though installing the same size system for a lower cost from an accredited solar installer makes more sense and will give you a shorter repayment period.

From a personal opinion, Ikea are making a smart move, they have seen the Solar Panel business on the rise and must be expecting a big boom soon like the rest of us. Hence the first UK solar advert airing last week and the noise Solar has been making in the news recently

Geothermal may get subsidy boost

Bloomberg reports that Geothermal energy may get a welcome boost from increased subsidies as Government officials begin to realise the enormous potential it offers.

Unlike wind and solar that require nature to ‘co-operate’. Geothermal is very stable and so provides a very sound platform on which to build reliable alternative power sources.

Presently, the UK has just one operating deep geothermal well, which provides heating to buildings in Southampton and long the south coast.

Devon and Cornwall are considered ‘hot spots’ for geothermal energy. The wells are drilled to a depth of around 2 miles deep, where they tap into underground steam or hot water.

Britain already has the drilling expertise to complete the bore holes but the industry fears that without increased subsidies, investors may move abroad to larger installations.

It’s a tricky business – investors often also look for certain insulation from drilling risks before committing money to such projects.

photo credit: stephen nakatani