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Ikea buys German wind farms

While many large firms are pimping relatively meagre efforts at reducing corporate carbon emissions --- measures such as changing store lighting or buying carbon offset credits --- Ikea is buying wind farms across Europe.

The Swedish megamarketer has acquired six German wind farms from the Spanish wind turbine group Gamesa. Ikea also purchased four French wind farms last year. All together, the firm now owns 52 wind turbines capable of producing 93 megawatts of electric power. That’s reportedly enough power to cover roughly 10 per cent of the global retailer’s consumption.

IKEA chief executive Mikael Ohlsson has said the company will make further investments toward its long-term goal to secure all its electricity needs from renewable sources. The firm’s strategy of vertical integration with its power providers stands in marked contrast to “green” strategies focused on purchasing rebranded energy, or acquiring carbon offset credits.

The sale also hints at new markets for wind turbine providers. In this deal, Gamsea served not only as a manufacturer and maintainer of turbines --- as it does for governments and large utilities around the globe --- but further functioned as a private developer of wind power assets sold to corporate user firm. Should other large firms choose to likewise secure control over future energy supplies, such deals hold the potential to rapidly accelerate the global conversion to carbon-free energy.

Gamsea began developing the German wind farms in 2003. The recently acquired Ikea wind turbines are located in Lower Saxony (Oberende), Hesse (Diemelsee I and II) and Rhineland-Palatinate (Winterspelt I and II and Zettingen).

Monte Paulsen writes about carbon shift for The Tyee.

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