Against a backdrop of growing ecological awareness and skyrocketing energy prices, you're looking to install solar panels to reduce your electricity bill and do something for the planet.
Just under three years ago, Ikea launched its Ikea Home Solar photovoltaic offering in France, almost 7 years after its foray into the UK market. To sell its product in France, Ikea formed a partnership with Voltalia, a French specialist in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources.
What are Ikea's solar panels worth? Details and our advice on the installation of photovoltaic solar panels via this sign in this complete guide!
Ikea: how did the furnishings giant get into solar panels?
The history of Ikea dates back to 1943, when Ingvar Kamprad, a young Swedish entrepreneur, began selling stationery and small items for the home. Five years later, the company diversified into furniture, with dazzling success, thanks in particular to functional products with clean design, affordable prices and a business model based on self-service sales and home assembly.
In 2013, the Swedish giant launched Ikea Home Solar, a division that embodies a commitment to the renewable energy sector. The announcement was made as part of the "People & Planet Positive" CSR initiative, which aims to reduce Ikea's environmental impact and encourage its customers to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. The program was launched in the UK in partnership with SolarCentury. The aim: to offer affordable, turnkey residential solar solutions, in line with Ikea's furniture ranges. Once again, the program was a great success, prompting Ikea to extend it to other countries, again in partnership with local companies specializing in photovoltaics.
Ikea solar panels arrived in France in July 2020, the fruit of a partnership with Voltalia, a French company specializing in the operation of solar power plants.
Ikea photovoltaic panels - Voltalia
As you can see, there are no "Ikea" photovoltaic panels to speak of. And contrary to what you might think, there are no Voltalia solar panels either! In fact, the French brand, partner of Ikea, exclusively offers panels from the Chinese brand Ja Solar (or Jing Ao Solar).
Although the Chinese manufacturer has been on the market since the early 2000s, it has quickly found its place in the photovoltaic landscape thanks to several assets:
- Unlike many of its competitors, Ja Solar manufactures both its modules and photovoltaic cells;
- Several certifications: environmental management (ISO 14001), quality management (ISO 9001), product certifications (IEC 61215, IEC 61730, UL 1703, MCS), occupational health and safety management (OHSAS 18001: 2007), IEC TS 62941 certified photovoltaic modules;
- A strong CSR commitment: construction of 100 elementary school in China, donation of medical care to cataract sufferers (target of 10,000 patients treated), installation of solar panels in elementary school, etc. ;
- Excellent value for money, from €5,580 for 3kWp to €15,390 for 9 kWp;
- A certain folie de grandeur, with one of the world's most powerful solar panels, the Jumbo triple-cut, which boasts 810 W (not yet available on a large scale).
In short, when we talk about Ikea or Voltalia photovoltaic panels, we're talking about the Chinese manufacturer Ja Solar.
Ikea's two photovoltaic ranges
Ikea's photovoltaic division is organized around two ranges of solar panels: Solstråle and Solstråle Plus :
|Solstråle solar panels||Solstråle Plus solar panels|
|Peak power||6 panels of 370 Wp each = 2.2 kWp||6 panels of 410 Wp each = 2,05 kWp|
|Production follow-up ?||Yes||Yes|
|Installation and administrative procedures||Yes (see below)||Yes (see below)|
|Warranty||10/12 years on products||25 years on products|
|All-inclusive after-sales service||No||5 years|
|Energy production guarantee||No||5 years|
|Eco-participation SOREN||2.16 €||2.16 €|
Two points to note:
- Installation and administrative procedures are offered under the following conditions: for a single-storey house, panels on a single slope, roof less than 45° (excluding slate tiles), in mainland France;
- Eco-participation, also known as ecocontribution or SORECOP in France, is a financial contribution paid by consumers when purchasing a new electrical or electronic appliance. This contribution is intended to finance the collection, treatment and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
Based on the Ikea offer, here is the number of panels and budget required for 3, 6 and 9 kWp:
|System power (kWp)System power (kWp)||Power of each panel (Wp)||Number of panels||Price includes VAT|
|Solstråle solar panels||3.33||370||9||7 990 €|
|6.29||370||17||12 850 €|
|9.25||370||25||17 000 €|
|Solstråle Plus solar panels||3.28||410||8||8 990 €|
|6.15||410||15||14 750 €|
|09.02||410||22||18 750 €|
Prices are indicative and subject to change.
The aesthetics of Ikea solar panels
Ja Solar solar panels, offered by Ikea and Voltalia, generally feature a black or silver anodized aluminum frame, with a rather modern, sober appearance. Depending on the model, you'll have black or blue solar cells. For optimum visual integration, JA Solar also offers frameless or "bifacial" solar panels with transparent glass, to capture light from both sides. All in all, Ja Solar solar panels blend harmoniously into the architectural environment, without being fashionable.
The performance of Ikea solar panels
Ja Solar solar panels offered by Ikea all feature monocrystalline cells, guaranteeing high efficiency (pure crystalline structure), reasonable performance in low light conditions, durability, aesthetics (uniform appearance) and correct operation in high temperatures.
As you saw above, the Solstråle and Solstråle Plus ranges differ not only in terms of peak power, but also in the type of inverter chosen:
|Inverter type||Centralized inverter||Microinverters|
|Description||All the photovoltaic panels are connected in series or parallel, and the energy produced by all the panels is sent to a single inverter that converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This alternating current is then fed into the home or building's electrical grid.||Each photovoltaic panel has its own micro-inverter that converts the direct current (DC) produced by the panel into alternating current (AC). This means that each panel operates independently of the others.|
|Benefits||Systems with centralized inverters generally have a lower initial cost than those equipped with microinverters;|
As there is only one inverter, problems can be more easily identified and resolved.
|As each panel operates independently, partial shading of one panel does not affect the performance of the others;|
Systems equipped with microinverters are better suited to roofs with irregular shapes and/or heterogeneous panel orientation;
Microinverters allow more precise monitoring of the performance of each panel.
|Disadvantages||Reduced performance when a single panel is shaded, affecting the entire system;|
Less flexibility in system design: centralized inverter systems are less adaptable to irregular roof shapes or installations where panels are oriented differently.
|Higher initial cost ;|
Potentially more complex maintenance: with multiple microinverters, identifying and resolving problems can be more difficult and costly.
Lastly, the average yield of Ja Solar solar panels varies between 16 and 21 %, which is within the market average. The Ja Solar monocrystalline panels offered by Ikea are in the higher range in terms of yield.
How can I afford an Ikea photovoltaic system?
No need to visit your nearest Ikea store. Voltalia will handle your request:
- It all starts with an online simulation of costs and savings on the Voltalia website ;
- Videoconference with an advisor for a quote ;
- Technical visit to your home by Voltalia ;
- Administrative support (work and connection) ;
- Installation and commissioning by Voltalia teams;
- Finalization of connection and resale contract, if applicable.
What do users think of Ikea solar panels?
Because Ikea Home Solar's offer is so recent in France, and doesn't yet cover all departments, it's hard to find reviews from French consumers. We have therefore compiled reviews from British consumers, who received the Ikea Home Solar offer back in 2013:
" Are Ikea solar panels any good? Yes and no. They use low-efficiency panels, which are therefore cheaper, but it takes about twice as many to reach kWp. " ;
" Ikea offered me £4,350 for a system of 18 120 w panels with an estimated first-year yield of 2,021 kWh, the estimated return on investment for the first year is 11 %. Another manufacturer quoted me £9,900 for a system of twelve 250 w panels with an estimated first-year yield of 2,955 kWh. The estimated return on investment for the first year is 7%. ".
" Anyone who thinks they've made a deal with Ikea is mistaken. On solar energy, Ikea is just a marketing platform. "Ikea only acts as an interface in the markets it invests in.
What are the strengths of the Ikea Home Solar offer?
- Ikea is a reliable and well-known brand. As such, it can be expected to be rigorous in its choice of photovoltaic partners;
- The Ja Solar solar panels offered by Ikea and Voltalia are reliable, robust and quite efficient;
- Ikea's photovoltaic offer is turnkey;
- The company has a strong CSR commitment;
- Responsive customer service... but it's Voltalia that provides the after-sales service for Ikea's photovoltaic offering.
Ikea solar panels: what are the drawbacks?
- Voltalia specializes in photovoltaic solutions for professionals, and only entered the residential market through its partnership with Ikea;
- The range of photovoltaic panels on offer doesn't leave customers much choice when it comes to sizing;
- The choice of solar panel models is opaque: nowhere does Ikea mention Ja Solar on its website;
- The prices Ikea charges for its photovoltaic solutions are not in line with its pricing policy for furniture. We are in fact at the average, or even slightly above the market average;
- If the Ikea name is reassuring, it's not your main contact (Voltalia);
- Warranties below the market average, especially the production warranty (only 5 years on the Solstråle Plus range).
Alternatives to Ikea solar panels
SunPower remains the undisputed leader in the residential photovoltaic panel sector. With yields approaching 23 %, resistance to extreme weather conditions, a wide range of products, sleek design and a 25-year warranty, SunPower is THE brand to choose if you've got the budget. To find out more, we invite you to consult our opinion on Sunpower photovoltaic solar panels
DualSun is an innovative French manufacturer. The brand offers hybrid solar panels that combine photovoltaic electricity generation with domestic hot water production. The aim is to maximize use of the roof surface and improve the overall energy efficiency of the solar installation. Customers who are interested in a multifunctional solar solution and wish to reduce their energy consumption for water heating may find DualSun's offer particularly interesting... especially if they wish to consume French.
#3 Oscaro Power
Oscaro Power is a subsidiary of Oscaro, a French company specializing in online sales of automotive parts. Oscaro Power offers self-consumption solar kits for private customers, with a range of solar panels, inverters and batteries to suit individual needs. Customers who wish to take charge of part of the installation themselves, or who are looking for a modular solar solution, can turn to Oscaro Power. Take a look at our Oscaro Power solar panels opinion to find out more.
Ikea solar panels : Our opinion => verdict ?
To enter the solar panel market, Ikea has opted for exclusive partnerships with local manufacturers, in this case Voltalia in France, which offers products from Chinese manufacturer Ja Solar.
The advantages of Ikea's offer can be summed up in the company's reliability, the sturdiness and performance of Ja Solar panels, responsive customer service and CSR commitment. The drawbacks, however, are numerous. Voltalia specializes in photovoltaic solutions for professionals, and only entered the residential market through its partnership with Ikea. The range of photovoltaic panels on offer doesn't leave customers much choice in terms of sizing, and the choice of solar panel models is opaque, as Ikea doesn't mention Ja Solar on its website.
The prices Ikea charges for its photovoltaic solutions are not in line with its pricing policy for furniture, and warranties are below the market average.
About the author
Reda holds a PhD in finance and specializes in renewable energy economics. He combines financial expertise with an interest in sustainability, writing not only on the financing of green projects, but also on more general topics and frequently asked questions in this field.