IKEA will extend its residential solar offering into eight new markets in the next 18 months following the success of the scheme in the UK.

The furniture giant works in partnership with Chinese thin-film manufacturer Hanergy to offer an end-to-end solar installation service. This will be expanded to the Netherlands in October and Switzerland in December. Details on the other six countries and which solar firms would be involved were not revealed.

The expansion was announced by the company’s CEO at the UN climate summit in New York.

“We know that our customers want to save energy and live more sustainably at home, but we believe they shouldn’t spend more money or time to do so,” said Peter Agnefjäll, CEO, IKEA.

“That is why we are determined to make sustainability both affordable and attractive to as many people as possible. I am delighted that we can now commit to bringing affordable home solar to a further eight countries, starting with the Netherlands and Switzerland,” added Agnefjäll.

Toby Ferenczi, CEO of Hanergy Solar UK, said the IKEA scheme had given solar a profile boost in the country.

“Solar has never been quite so readily accessible to so many people. There are lots of players in the solar market but it is hard to know who to trust. IKEA has 42 million visitors each year. That is an opportunity to inform customers about solar and about the fact that it is one of the best financial investments a family can make as well as being great for the environment,” he said.

“The partnership of IKEA and Hanergy represents the turning point of solar going from niche, to 'nice to have', to becoming mainstream, just an everyday part of the home. It’s a project that has started in the UK and will be expanding from there with essentially the same business model in The Netherlands and Switzerland,” said Ferenczi.

UK customers have a nominal admin cost up-front then pay for the panels through in-store financing options. More than 1,300 systems have been sold in less than a year since the scheme expanded to all 18 UK stores.

There is no detail on which markets IKEA will target. Hanergy has installed solar on several US branches of IKEA

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