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SEMS Site Redange


Project status



The CONCERTO project in Redange, Luxembourg covers more than a tenth of the area of the country. The Redange canton is an agricultural area with ten villages and 14,000 inhabitants. Together with other communities, its objective is to switch over to renewable energy supply.

Redange already has a reputation in Luxembourg as a pioneer in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The project activities are a further step in the direction towards greater sustainability.


Site facts and figures

  • Estimated population involved: 14,000
  • Approx. geographical area coverage: Information will follow
  • Approx. energy saving: 92 MWh/y electricity and 1,617 MWh/y heating energy
  • Approx. energy from RES: 23,400 MWh/y heating energy



A biogas plant with a combined heat and power generation (CHP) has been built at Colpach. It provides 460 kW of heat to the Red Cross Convalescence Center and 2 private homes, in combination with a wood chip boiler of 350 kW. Picture 1 shows the fermenter, Picture 2 shows two of the three CHP units.

A master Plan for wood as energy source has been developed. Three district heating systems (DHS) based on wood chip boilers have been installed. The DHS at Beckerich e.g. has a peak load of 2 MW and 2 buffer storages of 54 m³. 140 residential buildings, 17 public buildings and 7 enterprises are connected. Picture 3 shows the large storage hall for keeping the wood in a sheltered place. See “More detailed” for more information.

In total 17 buildings (municipal and private, 3,400 m² in total) have been retrofitted within the CONCERTO activities. One of the outstanding retrofits is the refurbishment of the ancient railway station of Noerdange, which has been done very carefully due to heritage protection (inside insulation, natural materials). Picture 4 shows the loam rendering inside the building, which is now used as a museum.
Sixty solar thermal systems and more than 80 small biomass boilers have been installed both in residential and administrative buildings. During the CONCERTO period also 100 old and inefficient heating pumps have been replaced by modern, demand-controlled ones.

An interesting concept has been realized in schools at Beckerich, called TEO (thin economic office). Existing computers have been replaced by computers with less energy consumption in production and operation and with less space needed in the classrooms or offices.

The DEMS® system (energy management system on district scale by SIEMENS) has been installed at Beckerich and Preizerdaul and objects like two wind power plants with 600 kW each, four larger and numerous smaller photovoltaic systems, CHP plants, a hydro-power plant and woodchip heatings have been integrated on the supply side. On the demand side the street lighting at Beckerich and different commercial and industrial customers with performance measurement were examined.


District heating network of Beckerich

A very large district heating network based on biomass had been installed and commissioned in November 2008 at Beckerich. The wood chip boiler (Picture 1) has a peak load of 2 MW and is supplied with G50-100 sized wood chips. The two buffer tanks have 54 m³ each and there are 5 expansion tanks of 5 m³ each (Picture 3). In 2010 almost 5,7 GWh of heat have been provided to the heating network, of which half has been generated by the wood chip boiler, the other half by biogas. For more details on the system check Table 1.
Figure 1 shows the supply chain for the biomass heat plant and includes the transport distances.


Table 1 – Facts on DHS Beckerich
Table 1 – Facts on DHS Beckerich


Geographic information system (GIS)

In the field of information technology a GIS system (Figure 2) has been installed at the communities Ell, Beckerich, Preizerdaul and Redange for finding and developing renewable energy sources (RES). Additionally Beckerich has implemented a cadaster of energy, as this community intends to become an Energy Plus Community. The cadastre contents:

  • Data collection of all buildings (heated surface, roof potential for solar energy use, classification of all buildings in age and energy consumption, data combination of building, person and address)
  • Multiple scenario analysis to provide a radical heat saving scenario
  • Assign consumption to age and groups of buildings in order to illustrate where the remaining energy potentials actually are and thus to reach full autonomy

Lessons learnt

The following information has been gathered as part of the CONCERTO Premium policy research.

Benefits of CONCERTO:

Skill development:

Thermography training: This training took place on October 21st and 28th 2011 in Beckerich, organized by SEMS / KSM / ENERGIATELIER and Pôlenergie . Target group of this course was construction professionals.

The training was provided by a trainer from the Training Institute of the building sector.

Exhibition Passive House – The house of the future: The exhibition took place from October 15th to 29th, 2011 at the Atert Lycée in Redange. The exhibition focused on the technical, energy and architectural aspects and illustrated in an understandable and comprehensive way the principles of passive house through a series of panels and a bilingual brochure (German and French), as well as samples and exposure models. Further this exhibition intended to inform students, who are being formed as technicians for energy and building, so that they could deepen their knowledge.

Local economic effects:

Approximately 1.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) person-years were required for the planning and construction of the CONCERTO project. 0,5 new jobs were created, that will continue to exist. (the energy change manager will continue in her role with similar responsibilities as under SEMS).


Barriers encountered:

Technical barriers:

Large-scale integration of RES and EE in communities with more than some 1.000 inhabitants required a comprehensive technical and organisational management of a large number of distributed energy generation, consumption and eventually storage units. It also required the comprehensive involvement of a large number of individuals and different groups of society, including local companies

Solutions: Good energy management systems utilizing 3 components:

  • DEMS (Decentralised Energy Management System) for technical energy management
  • E(ner)MAS for organisational energy management
  • MFM (Material Flow Management) for further optimising energy management

Economic barriers:

The target for refurbishments (250 dwellings) could not be achieved – the take up for energy surveys was good, but implementation did not follow due to the high costs involved. The refurbishment activities had missed the window of peak energy prices in 2008 – by 2009 prices had come down. The reasons for stagnation, which could hardly be influenced by the SEMS team, were the following: high pre-financing for the refitting measures, lack of financial resources and low oil price versus high refurbishment costs.

Luxembourgian government offered a financial grant for the refurbishment of old houses, the house owner had nevertheless to pre-finance the renovation works. Therefore many house owners refurbished their house progressively and thus did not reach the requested 30% reduction of the heat consumption within the SEMS project period. Pellet CHP: was investigated with help from project partners in Tulln

Refitting of existing housing: Since the financial crisis the ECMs had problems to convince citizens to make bigger invest as the refurbishments are. People, under threat of short-time work or even with losing their job, cannot commit to investments of the scale needed for a refurbishment.

Solutions: Intensive promotion of the benefits of refurbishment as demonstrated on the flagship project (“Presbytery”). 2 Stage consultancy service – intensive consultancy only after commitment to implement refurbishment measures

Social barriers:

The employment of the ECM was difficult: in REDINGEN there was a formal objection of the person choosen by the Kanton of Redingen by an higher governmental authority. Therefore, the recruitment procedure had to be started.


Success factors identified:

Technical success Factors:

The CONCERTO programme obliged the SEMS core regions to comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of their processes. In Redingen this allowed to make good for omissions of the past. In the case of Redange the heat produced in biogas plants is used to a much higher extend than it is the case usually. This can be attributed to the strong involvement of research institutes and specialised planning offices which allowed a comprehensive potential and demand assessment and an optimisation of the sites and dimensions of biogas plants at regional level.

Social success factors:

The Energy Change Managers (ECMs) with responsibility for information and communication activities developing subsidy programmes and coordinating of local project activities in the core communities with the local partners. Use of an AID (act-inform-develop) strategy as known in marketing circles. The intensive consultation activities of the energy change managers and the various communication activities were very successful in promoting uptake of relatively inexpensive measures such as installations of solar-thermal collectors, biomass heating systems, energy-saving heating pumps, etc. A ceremony of delivery of a SEMS ECO Plate in order to reward the Canton’s residents having contributed to reduce the CO2 emissions and to preserve the environment by retrofitting measures of an existing house or by installing a heating system using renewable energy sources.

Excellent work of the “Réidener Energieatelier a.s.b.l.” (an agency founded by the municipality) that had sensitivised people for energy issue even before the start of SEMS. It played an active role during CONCERTO and will continue beyond the project end. It provides a brief initial consultation free of charge.

SEMS provided the framework for good communication between the 8 participating local authorities within the Redange Region.

Institutional success factors:

The project adhered to a well-defined framework designed for regional energy transition initiatives, which had been developed under the preceding project “100RENET”. 100RENET defined 6 Steps: preparation, regional analysis, definition of targets, regional action programme, implementation of measures and projects and monitoring and evaluation (with several iterations of steps 4-6).


Building on strong political commitment and preciding similar projects, such as the sustainable transport campaign “komm fuer mat” and the energy saving campaign “komm spuer mat”, futher more the project ”LSDN”.


Business models used:

Solution 1 - Provision of information

The Service Package by the organisation “ENERGIPARK” offers eco-refurbishment packages which guarantee the following:

  • tailor-made, attentive service
  • quality of workmanship and maximum energy savings
  • reduction of overall carbon footprint
  • personal worries kept to a minimum

Solution 2 - Innovative financing concept

The financing concept based on flexible long-term loans was developed by ENERGIPARK in partnership with the Luxembourgian Fortuna Bank. It adheres to the following steps:

  1. Undertaking an energy audit
  2. Developing an energy strategy including energy costs calculation before and after the measures and appropriate financing plan
  3. After the customer’s approval, ENERGIPARK takes over the formal handling of the following:
  • Client data collection for the bank institute
  • Help with developing a sound financial plan in order to reduce the customers overall financial charges (length of the credit & repayment frequency).

The agreement with the bank also explicitly provides the option of funding through energy saving performance contracting. Through very flexible loan conditions (e.g. longer repayment periods than usual), very specific financing models can be offered to the customer.

Solution 3 - Mutual Fund

A mutual fund for energy efficiency and RES projects - including sustainable buildings – was set up between ENERGIPARK and the Fortuna Bank.

Solution 4 - Virtual Energy Saving Power Plant/ ESCO

The ESCO finances the refurbishments with:

  • a loan
  • by selling the saved energy to the community - this will allow to compensate the financing costs and to fix the heating costs for low income earners at the current level.

Solution 5 - Tackling fuel poverty

Assistance from the municipality for the heating costs of low income households, in order to reduce their energy costs, thus targeting the fact that increasing energy costs will also become a social problem. This takes the form of selling the heat needed after the refurbishment (contracting) for a contracted price.


Legacy – follow-on projects:

The best practise example of a public building and well prepared energetic, technical and financial information are expected to initiate the rehabilitation of further 350 buildings in the next years following SEMS in the Canton Redange and beyond. District heating will be an alternatively available and standardised heating form, so this will be integrated in municipal planning. By taking part in SEMS the Canton Redange will use the chance to focus on building up a sustainable energy supply for the whole canton. During project duration of five years the canton will be able to make a major step forward to a 100% renewable energy supply. The SEMS-project will have a continuous effect on the awareness of the inhabitants and make sure, that especially energy saving methods will be under progress. The overall aim of the Canton Redange, the quantitative energy self supply, will be reached by 2014.

The CONCERTO approach

The ultimate target for Redange is to meet 100% of the energy demand by renewable sources. Solar power will play a big role and a regional biomass master plan will be put in place, too. Four biogas combined heat and power plants are currently being planned during the project which will be fueled by domestic and agricultural waste, as well as energy crops.

A further important aspect of the work in Redange will be the refurbishment of dwellings – single and double households are the standard in the district – and administrative buildings. Private occupants get the opportunity to retrofit their buildings 30% above the energy efficiency standard. At least two public buildings will be treated in the same way.


SEMS Video-clip (COMIC) developed by the SEMS Project in Weilerbach:

The old story of the Three little pigs, in the age of the Climate Change, needs to be reviewed: the little pigs, Semsi, Susi and Sibbi, have to face the Energie Riese (the Energy giant) who asks for increasingly higher energy costs. But Semsi, who built a Zero Emission Home, managed to find a way to solve the problem! For an audience of both children and adults, it is a promotion of a sustainable way of living.

Click here for the version with English subtitles, click here for the version in German language.



Paul Kauten
Energipark Reiden s.a.

Thematic Field

  • Refurbished Building(s)
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Project data