The company intends on generating an amount of renewable energy equal to the amount of energy it consumes by 2020. A large part of this effort has to do with combatting climate change and setting a sustainable example for other businesses to follow. However, it’s not just saving the world that has IKEA investing in renewable energy. As IKEA’s Chief Sustainability Officer Steve Howard put it, renewables offer “long-term energy security and a macro hedge on energy price rises.” IKEA also prefers to own its own methods of power generation wherever feasible. Howard poses the rhetorical “if we can own our own energy production why would we not want to do it?” Enter Apex Clean Energy.
Before long, this site will be providing clean energy to 34,000 homes!
Recently it was announced that IKEA has purchased a 98 megawatt wind farm currently being constructed by Apex about 100 miles south of Chicago. The purchase represents IKEA’s largest clean energy investment to date, and will generate 65% more electricity than all of IKEA’s U.S. operations consume!
The energy generated at the wind farm will not be able to reach most of IKEA’s stores (all of which generate some of their own electricity via solar panels on their roof), so the company intends to use the energy sold from the wind farm to pay for its energy costs as well as meet its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.
This deal is one example of a growing trend where private businesses take matters into their own hands. Not content to rely on utilities or government to offer them the clean, reliable energy they desire, large companies have signed deals with clean energy companies like Apex to ensure they meet their carbon-reduction targets. These deals allow companies to lock-in cheap, long-term energy prices, giving them the certainty they crave. In fact, Apple powers all of its data centers with renewables. Google powers about half of its data centers with renewable energy.
IKEA and Apex’s deal is one more instance of private businesses turning to clean energy of their own volition. Fortunately, this trend will undoubtedly continue.