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