Why is our hydrogen green?
For anyone who is committed to the environment, hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Because a car which runs on hydrogen doesn’t emit CO2, just harmless water vapour. To be 100% sustainable, the hydrogen must, of course, also be produced using renewable green energy. And that’s what we do at Colruyt Group.
Making hydrogen via electrolysis
Hydrogen (H2) rarely occurs in nature in its pure form. So we have to produce it ourselves. This can be done using electrolysis. This is a chemical process in which water is split by electricity into hydrogen and oxygen. The resulting hydrogen is only ‘green’ if you use renewable electricity. And that’s what we’ve been doing since 2012 in the Dassenveld distribution centre in Halle. We use electrolysis to convert the energy from our wind turbines and solar panels into hydrogen.
Hydrogen fits into a smart energy network
We want to work with a smart grid for our electricity: a smart network that matches energy supply and demand. By switching off electrical equipment automatically when there’s insufficient wind or sun. Or conversely, freezers working extra hard when a lot of green power is generated.
Because there’s not always enough wind when we want to use energy, we use a hydrogen buffer. This helps us to adapt flexibly to power generation. We convert green power into hydrogen if there’s a surplus, and when the wind turbines and solar panels produce less, we convert the stored hydrogen back into electricity. Our own hydrogen station manages the entire buffer.Read more
Hydrogen as a sustainable fuel
Hydrogen is also an alternative to fossil fuels. The major advantage is that cars or pallet transporters using hydrogen emit only water vapour. No particulates, soot or CO2.
We tested our first hydrogen-powered car back in 2015. Today, our company fleet already includes 18 such cars. And as from October 2018, everyone can fill up with 100 % green hydrogen at our DATS 24 station in Halle.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.