IKEA is to sell solar panels at its British stores, the first time it has offered the devices and marking an attempt to tap growth in the heavily subsidised green energy market.

The Sweden-based company, best known for cheap basics such as its Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, plans to offer solar panel packages at all of its 17 British stores within the next 10 months.

It's teamed up with Chinese solar power firm Hanergy to sell solar panels in its UK stores.

"In the same way that IKEA sells bedrooms and kitchens, we want solar panels to become an everyday part of the home."

As the cost of solar panels has come down in recent years, it's now more affordable for homeowners.

Unlike IKEA's famous flatpack furniture, customers can't just walk out of the store with a solar panel under their arm. Instead, they'll have to wait around 4 weeks from ordering the system, to seeing it installed on their roof.

Installation of the German-made panels and maintenance is included in the package.

The average cost of one of the solar systems is £5,700.

As Britain offers subsidies to encourage the take-up of renewables, customers should be able to break even in 7 years, but can also use financing to make the purchase.

Selling solar panels seems a logical step for IKEA. It's had them on its store, warehouse and factory roofs for some time - there are 5000 on top of the Southampton shop.

Britain's solar market is small compared with other European countries like Germany and Spain. But installations are growing says Ben Warren from Ernst and Young.

"The UK presents an interesting market opportunity. One it's a market that's got a stable regulatory framework and a government that hasn't, unlike some other European countries gone back on policy in a retroactive way, and secondly the opportunity for growth of the solar sector in the UK is very strong."

Presented by Adam Justice