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EGEB: IKEA put 1 million solar panels on 370 of its buildings in 2019

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • IKEA invested $2.8 billion in green energy in 2019 and intends to be net zero by 2030.
  • World bankers and economists express strong support for green stimulus packages.
  • A Swedish steelmaker has successfully used hydrogen to heat steel.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

IKEA embraces renewables

In 2019, IKEA spent $2.8 billion on green energy. That money bought 1 million solar panels on 370 of its stores and warehouses, 535 wind turbines, and two solar parks. The Swedish furniture giant will only use renewable and recyclable materials by 2030. It’s also going to stop using single-use plastics. Further, it’s aiming for zero-emission home deliveries by 2025.

It’s a fantastic initiative, and more retailers need to follow IKEA’s example. If a company of this size can do it, and Costco, Target, and Walmart are too, then why can’t all big chains? Think about all that roof space. They’re doing it because it’s cheaper.

Green stimulus support from big hitters

Top American and British economists, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Lord Nicholas Stern, published a paper on Tuesday that asserts that the most effective coronavirus stimulus packages will also focus on reducing carbon emissions.

As Bloomberg Green elaborates:

That conclusion comes from a survey of more than 200 central bankers, G-20 finance ministers, and top academics from across 53 countries, conducted by a group of star economists that includes Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, among others. The results were released [on May 4] in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

The paper’s introduction points out that the COVID-19 crisis could mark a turning point in climate-change progress, but that emissions could increase once economies recover, unless governments intervene.

The authors “looked at more than 700 economic stimulus policies launched during or since the 2008 financial crisis, and surveyed 231 experts from 53 countries, including senior officials from finance ministries and central banks,” according to Reuters.

They concluded that boosting green energy would create more jobs, deliver more short-term returns, and save more in the long term.

Hydrogen and steel success in Sweden

Swedish-headquartered steelmaker Ovako has successfully used hydrogen to heat steel.

Ovako and Linde Gas jointly ran a trial that used hydrogen instead of liquefied petroleum gas to re-heat steel before rolling at the group’s mill in Hofors, Sweden, according to Kallanish Energy.

Göran Nyström, EVP group marketing & technology at Ovako, said:

This is a major development for the steel industry. It is the first time that hydrogen has been used to heat steel in an existing production environment. Thanks to the trial, we know that hydrogen can be used simply and flexibly, with no impact on steel quality, which would mean a very large reduction in the carbon footprint.

Ovako is now evaluating investment options to roll out the scheme in all its rolling mills.


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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.