16th May 2022

The transition to renewable energy

Greenhouse gas emissions decreased in 2020 due to the disruptions of economic activity, travel, and commerce brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. What can we expect in terms of growth in renewable energy in Luxembourg? We spoke to Mr Paul Zens, president of Eurosolar Lëtzebuerg a.s.b.l., who gives us five useful tips to effectively adopt renewable energy in our homes.

1. Mr Zens, the war in Ukraine has shown how dependent Europe is on energy from outside the EU.

Even so, the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources is booming, and it doesn’t seem that the trend will slow down any time soon. Is the war in Ukraine driving the transition to renewable energy?

I’m not sure, at least in the short term, because there are those who want to use coal and nuclear power to alleviate the current problems. But that’s really the wrong way to go because of CO2 emissions. And as we’ve just seen, nuclear power plants are at risk of becoming direct or indirect war targets, not to mention the known hazardousness of nuclear power. So, the energy transition is not only a technical challenge, but also a challenge of sovereignty.

The generation of electricity from renewable energy sources will have to lead to the complete replacement of harmful energy sources. It’s not an easy task, but it’s possible technically and also financially. We just have to get started. Also, this is nothing new. This climate crisis and its consequences have been known for many years.

2. In terms of adopting renewable energy and consumption, where do we stand, and what does the future look like in Luxembourg? How do we compare to the rest of the world?

The good news is that production from renewable sources has been increasing in Luxembourg over the past few years, and a certain dynamic is taking hold. Even so, we can and must do better. Just by looking at Luxembourg’s Earth Overshoot Day, which reflects our gargantuan appetite for energy, we can see that doing better is a moral obligation.

Fortunately, Luxembourg has the capacity to succeed because the advantage of renewable energy is that it’s available locally, close to where it’s produced and used. For us, it’s biomass, wind, and especially the sun. So, building wind turbines and installing photovoltaic panels will be priorities.

3. What are the current trends, and what do you expect in 2023 in terms of prices?

The cost of producing photovoltaic electricity will remain stable since the sun remains free of charge. In the long term, it’s reasonable to expect lower prices among other things thanks to improvements in panel efficiency and the proliferation of photovoltaic installations.

One thing to consider when talking about the price of energy from our renewable sources is the cost of storage. Wind or solar power is available immediately and must be used immediately. The surplus, therefore the unused energy, can be stored, and this storage comes at a cost, a bit like an oil tank. The question arises as to the level of storage. Let me remind you: filling an oil tank is expensive, while using the sun to fill a battery doesn’t cost anything. Just as, in the long run, the installation of solar panels is free or even brings in money.

4. Where does most of the renewable energy used by consumers in Luxembourg come from?

In 2020, Luxembourg’s national production covered 1/5 of its consumption. Around 16% of this production is based on renewable energy sources. It’s growing thanks to the installation of new, more efficient wind turbines as well as the installation of a large number of photovoltaic panels, largely in agriculture, on the roofs of stables and barns.

Geographically, most energy is consumed in the south and centre of the country, while it is produced mainly in the north and other rural areas. Production must be brought closer to consumption, hence the need to cover roofs and other sealed surfaces.

5. What are your five helpful tips for our readers when it comes to switching their homes to renewable energy?

5 useful tips: 

1. Look at where and how you can reduce your energy appetite: household, mobility, heating, and other habits, big or small.

2. Doublecheck with the energy advisors at “Klima-Agence” or contact Spuerkeess to find out which renovations are effective and what financial assistance is available from the government.

3. With regard to solar power generation: at www.geoportail.lu, the owner of a building can see the potential sun exposure on his or her roof illustrated in colour.

4. If you have no roof, contact one of the citizens cooperatives active in renewable energies through www.biergerpv.lu. As members, we are all active participants in the energy transition.

5. Every little step is worth taking, from an environmental or financial perspective, whether to reduce our daily consumption or to increase the production and productivity of renewable energy.

About the blog:


There is an urgent need for rapid transition to global sustainability. Business and industry have enormous social and environmental impacts. "Why does it matter?" is a bi-monthly blog that aims to elucidate this important topic through the eyes of our experts. 

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