ENGIE to promote solar energy to businesses
ENGIE and Comeos, the Belgian federation of commerce and services, have signed a collaboration agreement. The objective is to promote solar energy and energy efficiency solutions to businesses. This is a crucial development for the sector in view of the energy transition.
The commerce and services sector is aiming to reduce its environmental footprint. Comeos, the sector’s federation, has called on ENGIE to help it in this undertaking. Together they will spend three years promoting solar energy to businesses. This is a major commitment with high potential.
“Businesses are highly committed to finding energy solutions, and have been for a number of years already”, says Dominique Michel, CEO of Comeos. “Today we are launching additional initiatives. The collaboration with ENGIE is a specific example.”
350 hectares of solar panels
The retail sector has more than 2,800 outlets. This would represent an enormous potential in terms of solar production.
“Our shops have large areas of roof space, making them particularly suitable for the installation of solar panels”, confirms Dominique Michel. “If we exploit all this capacity in Brussels, for example, we would be able to produce the equivalent of the electricity consumption of all the households in Watermael-Boitsfort.”
At national scale, this would amount to installing a full 350 hectares of solar panels on businesses – the equivalent of 500 football pitches!
“So if all the members of Comeos installed solar panels, this would prevent the emission of 120,000 tons of CO2”, adds the CEO of Comeos. “Without a doubt, our sector has an important role to play in the development of this environmentally-friendly technology. Teaming up with the energy transition leader to do our bit was an obvious move.”
Photovoltaics, the most promising energy
The agreement between ENGIE and Comeos is in line with Belgium’s aim of cutting CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 and achieving 13% renewable energy use by 2020.
Photovoltaics is without doubt the most promising technology for achieving these objectives in the context of the energy transition. Reduced production costs, investment – the International Energy Agency thinks that photovoltaics could produce 25% of the electricity consumed in Belgium and prevent the emission of 8 million tons of CO2.
The cost of solar panels has fallen drastically over the past 10 years – by a full 70%. For a supermarket with a standard floorspace of 2,500 to 3,000 m², the budget for panels has dropped from €850,000 in 2008 to €250,000 today. Furthermore, this would enable the supermarket to produce between 15% and 20% of its total energy consumption.
ENGIE expertise at the heart of the process
In addition, ENGIE will be providing support and advice to Comeos members in the form of seminars. It will be evaluating and promoting photovoltaic installations to businesses in the sector and will be telling them about solutions for improving the energy efficiency of their buildings and activities.
The undertaking is part of the Group’s “4D” strategy, which can be summarised as the reduction of CO2 emissions (decarbonisation), more decentralised generation, digitisation of its solutions and guidance for customers in reducing their consumption.
To help them, ENGIE is now offering ENGIE Sun4Business, a solar energy offer aimed at businesses via a third party investment system. Businesses can also count on ENGIE Fabricom Solar Technics, a specialist in the installation of large-scale solar panels for B2B customers, as well as yet more services.