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bpost and Swiss Post going solar


bpost and Swiss Post going solar

Ian Kerr

I’ve discussed postal rooftops before… but here’s some news from Belgium (and an update from Switzerland) about renewable energy and solar cells.

bpost wants to reduce its CO₂ emissions by at least 20% by 2030. Electric vehicles and solar-powered sorting centres will play a part in meeting this target.

bpost has unveiled a new solar panel installation atop its sorting centre in Antwerp - which is the company’s fourth sorting centre to run on solar energy.

The 3,700 photovoltaic panels in Antwerp bring bpost’s total solar panel surface area of 33,000 m² across various buildings in Belgium.

The solar panels on bpost’s sorting centres in Ghent, Liege, Charleroi and Antwerp should generate CO₂ emissions savings of more than 1,200 tons per year.

“Sorting centres (and any large logistics facility) are prime places to mount solar panels, which can save money and reduce emissions. This seems to be a “no brainer”, but for some reason, I don’t see too many such sites in Europe, yet… especially in CEE. Let’s hope that this develops as the cost of the hardware falls and ecological concerns grow.” - Marek Różycki, Managing Partner Last Mile Experts

The solar panel installation in Antwerp has been made possible via a financing deal with energy company ENGIE.

Since 2007, bpost has cut its CO₂ emissions by almost 40%.

Electric vehicles to replace diesel vans

bpost will also switch more than half of its fleet to electric vehicles by 2030. Some 600 new electric vans will be deployed across Belgium by 2022, which will increase to more than 3,400 by 2030. bpost already has a fleet of 2,652 electric bikes and 324 electric trikes.

In some cities, including Antwerp, bpost already uses the “Colibus”, a new 100% electric vehicle especially designed for the parcels market. The Colibus is fully electric and can carry more than 100 parcels.

Meanwhile in Switzerland…

Swiss Post has installed 14 solar panel systems on its buildings, with the first system installed in 2011, and four in 2018.

One of the largest installations in Switzerland, with a panel area of over 8,000 square metres, is located on the Zurich-Mülligen letter sorting centre, followed by installations totalling over 20,000 square metres on the Härkingen (pictured above), Daillens, Eclépens and Frauenfeld sorting sites.

Since 2008, Swiss Post has sourced its entire electricity requirements from renewable energies, including hydropower and around 10% from wind, solar, small hydro and biomass power plants in Switzerland.

More solar panel installations are planned - but Swiss Post acknowledges solar panels are subject to factors such as the weather, and dust in the atmosphere.

Swiss Post’s entire letter delivery fleet, with over 6,000 scooters, is powered entirely by electricity from renewable sources.

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