Franco-Belgian supermarket turns to kilowatts

30th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian branch of French supermarket chain Carrefour will sell “green" electricity alongside the more usual potatoes and courgettes.

30 May 2008

BRUSSELS - The Belgian branch of French supermarket chain Carrefour added a new product to its eco-friendly line on Thursday when it launched plans to sell "green" electricity alongside the more usual potatoes and courgettes.

The initiative, which European Union officials say is the first of its kind in the EU, sees the chain offer clients the chance to sign a contract to buy electricity from guaranteed renewable sources at a fixed rate for one, two or three years.

The move was welcomed by the EU's executive, the European Commission, which is pushing for energy markets within the 27-member bloc to become more eco-friendly and diversified.

"Now Belgian consumers will be able to buy their electricity in the same place as they buy their food and their clothes ... The commission encourages other retailers to follow this path and be innovative energy suppliers," a commission spokesman said.

According to Carrefour Belgium's energy website, roughly two-thirds of the energy will come from wind generators, and a third will come from burning "biomass," or plant and animal waste.

Some 2 percent will come from heat generation plants or hydro-electric sources.

Supermarkets in Belgium, as elsewhere in Western Europe, are engaged in a constant battle to offer their clients non-traditional services, from banking to property sales and fuel supplies.

However, Carrefour has no plans to build its own-brand wind farms and hydro-electric dams: the company will buy its green energy from renewable suppliers and trade it on to consumers, the website said.

[dpa / Expatica]

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