GLP Europe, part of Singapore-based logistics developer and investor GLP, is making headway with its newly established renewable energy division by focusing on generating clean energy from ‘unused space’.
‘We will use roofs and pieces of vacant land to place solar panels and generate clean, cheaper electricity,’ Stefan Fissolo, senior director of renewables at GLP Europe, told PropertyEU at Mipim.
Fissolo said the division had been set up to lower energy costs for users and to reduce GHG emissions. ‘If there was no ESG, real estate investors would still be interested,’ he said. ‘The company we are creating will rent roof space and land with solar panels to users.’
Besides generating renewable energy, the company is keen to get into the market for energy infrastructure. Said Fissolo: ‘We are looking for fund managers of energy infrastructure.’
GLP’s move is in line with its commitment to meet Paris climate change goals by 2050 – and preferably earlier than that.
‘In France, for instance, there is a goal to have 40% less greenhouse gases in 2030 than at any moment in the last 10 years,’ Natali Cooper, lead ESG in Europe at GLP Europe, explained. Even if for practical reasons those targets are not implemented immediately, ‘we can’t wait’, she said.
An example of how things are moving forward is the Planet Mark sustainability certification in the UK. Businesses have to show that they are committed to reducing their carbon emissions and show the numbers. According to Cooper, this stimulates customers to take the initiative and put in their own emissions reduction systems. ‘We want to work together with them in their warehouses to meet requirements,’ Cooper said, adding, ‘we are also still learning ourselves. Consider it a form of placemaking’.
GLP Europe itself has a programme in place to reduce emissions. ‘We signed up three years ago, so we are in the fourth year,’ said Cooper. ‘We have been reducing emissions by about 5% a year and we hope to increase that still further.’
Fissolo’s mission is to cut the carbon footprint of the logistics sector, starting with GLP. Across the world, GLP has 700 megawatts (MW) of installed solar PV systems which can generate approximately 540 gigawatt hours (GWh). In Europe, GLP has about 32 MW of capacity installed across 28 projects but with the ambition of delivering 500 MW in the future.
Energy capacity using solar panels should be at 1 gigawatt by then, which can provide 1 million megawatt/hours, roughly the energy consumption of 250,000 households per year. Fissolo: ‘That equals 10 times the number of households in the city of Cannes.’