“10 years to win the race against climate change”

Published on 29/10/2019

Luxembourg positions itself as energy frontrunner with new biENNIAL conference

The energy transition is well under way. Digital transformation, new mobility approaches, new ideas for living in cities and a rising number of prosumers are examples of the ongoing energy transition. As LIST CEO Thomas Kallstenius said during the first edition of the new biennial Energy Transition Dialogue on 24 October: “We all know we have to go through an energy transition. The question is how we are going to make it happen.”

The Energy Transition Dialogue, held on 24 October in Mondorf-les-Bains, brought together all the stakeholders of the energy supply chain of Luxembourg: the private and public sectors, institutions and academia. The objective was to provide an overview of the energy landscape in Luxembourg and the challenges faced during the emerging transition towards electrification and decarbonisation. Topics discussed in the conference included innovation development in smart and low-carbon energy technologies, renewable and electric vehicles integration, demand-side flexibility, digital transformation, new business models, and user acceptance.

Research will be an enabler

Minister of Energy and Spatial Planning Claude Turmes emphasized the key role to be played by Luxembourg in the energy transition: research will be an enabler, and LIST will clearly contribute to designing greener solutions for Luxembourg. The energy transition will for instance take shape through the set-up of plus-energy buildings, which requires solar roofs and heat pumps, and the adoption of electric cars. The challenge is to manage decentralised energy and new energy demands. Expertise is needed in data intelligence, which is the kind of research needed and where LIST can make its contribution.

Technology is not enough

All participants agreed on one thing: technology is not enough. This is why the involvement of policy-makers, regulators and business developers besides the electricity producers and distributors made this event one of the most effective platforms to accelerate the energy transition in Luxembourg. “We have solutions, products and technologies that can create growth and jobs and at the same time protect the environment. So there is no reason not to use them. Lots of companies or people are reluctant to change. Pioneers show the direction. The ones that do not want to follow should be pushed by the regulation”, said explorer and clean technology pioneer Bertrand Piccard.

Luxembourg, the place to be for climate solutions

How do we make people buy electric cars? How to make them reduce meat consumption? Claude Turmes stressed the importance of lifestyle changes. For this, all Luxembourg research actors should team up: the University of Luxembourg, LIST and LISER. “We can create a Luxembourgish brand around climate solutions”, said Claude Turmes. “In Luxembourg we are strong in finance: we should organise a market for green technologies and match it with finance.”

1000 solutions to protect the environment

On the same day, LIST researchers and Bertrand Piccard met to discuss the collaboration with the Solar Impulse Foundation, which has the goal to select and label 1000 solutions that are financially profitable and protect the environment at the same time. LIST is involved in this – LIST experts will help in the sustainability assessment of these 1000 solutions: a great example of LIST’s mission to contribute to environmental sustainability in Luxembourg and in the world. As Thomas Kallstenius put it: “The role of LIST is to be an enabler and to gather all the main stakeholders in that area. We have 10 years ahead of us: let’s make it happen!”

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Prof. Dr Lucien HOFFMANN
Prof. Dr Lucien HOFFMANN

Director of Environmental Research and Innovation department

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