One Step Off TheGridAustralian households looking to install rooftop solar will soon be able todo so through their favourite flat-packing, Swedish furniture and homeware giant– Ikea – with the launch of a new “turnkey” (no allen key required) productthis year.Ikea Australia said on Tuesday that it would kick off a trial of itscomplete home solar offering – called Solstrale – around the country in April,starting with employees of the company.
The idea is for Ikea staffto test out the offering, provide feedback, and ensure any bugs are ironed outby the time the product is launched to consumers.The Solstrale package includesa custom rooftop solar design, full installation (by IKEA’s partners, not thehomeowner), PV panels, inverters and mounting systems – with an option to addbattery storage if so desired.Ikea said pricing in Australia would vary fromregion to region – depending on any local and state government incentives andrebates – and depend on the size of system purchased. At this stage, its“carefully selected” local partner in Australia has been named as SolarGain,which offers a range of “high end” panels from Jinko, Longi, LG, SunPower and QCells. It also offers a range of inverters, including from Sungrow, Fronius,Growatt and SolarEdge. (Batteries offered are Tesla Powerwall 2, LG Chem RESU,Enphase, and iStore.)The launch of Solstrale in Australia marks the product’sfirst foray outside of Europe, where it has been sold on a variety of key solarmarkets including Germany and Italy.
Ultimately, the companyhopes to expand Solstrale sales to all of its markets by 2025.“We want to helpout customers to produce their own renewable energy at home which is good bothfor the climate and the wallet,” Ikea said in May last year.The company flaggedselling solar panels “at cost” in Australia back in February 2018, as One StepOff The Grid reported at the time, but received a mixed response from the localindustry, inlcuding concern that the offer would confuse consumers and furthersqueeze the already slim profit margins of Australian installers.Since thattime, it seems to have learned some valuable lessons from its experiencesacross its variuos European markets, such as in Germany where it fell foul ofthat nation’s consumer watch-dog over its partnership withSolarcentury.According to Ikea Australia retail manager and chiefsustainability officer, Jan Gardberg, the move to solar is ideally timed forthe current conditions in Australia. “We know the unlocked potential thatawaits with democratising sustainable solutions through renewable energy,” hesaid. “Our climate is perfectly suited for Australia to be a leading market forthe IKEA home solar offering. “As a business we see it as our responsibility toenable positive change in society. We are living on one planet which iscounting on everyone to make a difference.”