The supermarket sector goes solar

The supermarket sector is facing a series of major challenges: environmental responsibility, the need to reduce costs and carbon emissions, and new regulations. These challenges are forcing retailers to reinvent themselves and find innovative, sustainable solutions. It's against this backdrop that many shops have opted for solar lighting for their car parks. A promising solution, but how can this technology meet the new needs of supermarkets?

Lampadaire photovoltaique pour parking GD / GMS

I.    Solar distribution and outdoor lighting: the winning combo!

Since it came into force in 2019, the Tertiary Sector Eco-Energy Decree (DEET) has obliged players in the tertiary sector to install energy efficiency devices in their sales outlets in order to combat climate change. Retailers have not been spared, and must find ways of choosing more sustainable equipment to help reduce their energy consumption. The transition to more environmentally-friendly outdoor lighting offers a number of key benefits, demonstrating that supermarkets are entering a new era of decarbonisation and cost reduction:

Lampadaire photovoltaique pour parking GD / GMS

  • Reduce operating costs: The installation of solar-powered streetlights contributes to significant savings, both on initial costs and on maintenance expenses (not before 10 years). With no connection to the traditional electricity grid, operating costs are greatly reduced, offering a long-term economic solution from the moment of installation, by being 100% autonomous.


  • Greener car parks: The renewable and inexhaustible energy of the sun, which powers the streetlights, offers an environmentally-friendly alternative. This transition to greener car parks is part of an overall drive to reduce the carbon footprint of major retailers.


  • Quick and easy installation: Photovoltaic streetlights are quick and easy to install, minimising disruption to customers. This approach often allows the devices to be installed without having to close the shop, thus preserving the continuity of commercial activities.


  • Making car parks safer: solar streetlights provide powerful, reliable lighting all year round, 365 nights a year. They ensure that car parks are safe 24 hours a day. It also avoids interruptions due to power cuts, giving customers and employees peace of mind.

Lampadaire photovoltaique pour parking GD / GMS

But solar lighting doesn't stop there. Certain systems can also be adapted to car park shading. 
Since July 2023, hypermarkets and supermarkets have been obliged to cover at least half the surface area of car parks of 1,500m2 or more with photovoltaic shading systems, but they can now also use solar power to light their car parks (ENR Law 2023)...
The Ombrilight solution, specially designed for car park shading, uses less than 1% of the plant's photovoltaic surface area and offers lighting tailored to the specific needs of large retail areas.



II.    Supermarkets go green 

This move towards more sustainable consumption practices is not limited to a single company, but is a growing trend within the mass retail sector. Many retailers (E. Leclerc, Intermarché, Lidl, etc.) are turning to solar street lighting solutions to meet both economic and environmental imperatives.

A good example is the installation of 169 solar-powered streetlights in the car park of the Carrefour shopping centre in Portet-sur-Garonne, in the Occitanie region of France. The project has enabled the shopping centre to make significant savings while adopting an eco-responsible approach. By opting for this solution, it has been able to cut its electricity bill and reduce its carbon footprint, while at the same time raising customer awareness of new environmentally-friendly technologies. 

Another example is the E. Leclerc store in Carcassonne, which is one of the pioneers in solar street lighting, being the first hypermarket in France to benefit from this technology. 34 autonomous solar street lamps from the Smartlight range were installed more than 8 years ago, not only to light the car park, but also to make the pedestrian walkways safer. 

Eclairage parking solaire GD / GMS

"It seemed obvious to me that we should improve the safety and comfort of our customers by offering this technological solution. It's part of an overall approach to protecting the environment and reducing operating costs. (...) I think that this kind of decision is an important act, and I would even say a civic act for future generations," says Laurent Boissonade, director of the E. Leclerc centres in Carcassonne. 
Following this first project, a new large-scale project was recently launched in Carcassonne, with the installation of almost 90 solar-powered street lamps in the new Rocadest shopping area. The project was prompted by a desire to offer an attractive and environmentally responsible environment.


At a time when sustainability and environmental responsibility are becoming increasingly important, integrating solar street lighting into the retail landscape is an essential step towards a greener, more sustainable future. The move towards protecting the environment, by favouring green energy, sets a positive example in an industry facing significant environmental challenges.

Read more
Preview Eclairage solaire architectural

How does solar lighting fit into modern architecture?

The constant evolution of modern architecture and more sustainable, innovative solutions are highlighting solar street lighting as a clean, intelli
Preview kenitra maroc

Future projection: what will solar street lighting look like in 2030 ?

Street lighting has evolved significantly over the years, constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of urban communities.
Preview Innovation dans l'éclairage public : Fonroche Lighting

Innovation in street lighting: the fusion of solar power and smart technology

Innovation and technological development are at the heart of our society, and increasingly connected cities are constantly seeking intelligent inno
Preview Eclairage public solaire en Floride

Why opt for solar street lighting?

In a world where environmental and economic issues are at the heart of our concerns, how can solar street lighting light up our spaces and our live
Newsletter subscription