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Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Special Report Europe 2020 - Limited expectations - Not making the best of their potential - Luxembourg forced to rely on a statistical transfer

Of all Europe's countries, Luxembourg will be one of the most dependent on the renewables directive's flexibility measures to meet its target. Its 11% national goal will demand an eleven-fold increase in renewable energy from just 0.9% in 2005. Yet the small land-locked country has only a limited renewables resource, and has to import 99% of its total energy and over two-thirds of its electricity.

An impossible task to achieve has left Luxembourg in limbo.

Of all Europe's countries, Luxembourg will be one of the most dependent on the renewables directive's flexibility measures to meet its target. Its 11% national goal will demand an eleven-fold increase in renewable energy from just 0.9% in 2005. Yet the small land-locked country has only a limited renewables resource, and has to import 99% of its total energy and over two-thirds of its electricity.

Despite a range of support mechanisms, including a fixed price system for wind, Luxembourg is still struggling to meet its 2010 target of 5.7% of electricity from renewables. Today it generates some 280 GWh a year from renewables, meeting around 4% of electricity demand. Over 25% of this comes from 43.4 MW of installed wind capacity, which supplies around 80 GWh a year.

Looking further ahead to the 2020 targets, a 2007 study by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute and the Energy Economics Group of Vienna finds that renewables will meet 4% of Luxembourg's energy overall in 2020 under a "business as usual" scenario, including 5.5% of electricity demand. Annual wind power output would increase to 183 GWh. But even under a best efforts scenario, renewables' share would rise to just 8.2% of energy and 9.8% of electricity, while annual wind output would reach 227 GWh. "At best our renewable energy potential would be roughly 8%. Even if we could realise all this potential it would still leave a gap compared with our target," says Marco Hoffman from the economy and trade ministry.

As yet the government feels unable to produce a strategy for achieving its goals. "Our problem for the moment is not knowing how this statistical transfer will work, since that will be a very important element for us in reaching our target," says Hoffmann. "We would be an importer of any renewable capacity transfer from a statistical point of view. But so far no details have been defined by the Commission about how this system will work."

Janice Massy, Windpower Monthly

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