Members’ Corner – The craft industry has the resources and skills to be a key player in the energy transition in Luxembourg

On Friday 21 May 2021 in Krakelshaff, Claude Turmes, Luxembourg’s Minister of Energy, symbolically commissioned a photovoltaic installation installed on the roofs of the training centre belonging to the Fédération des Artisans, a EuropeOn member.

With a total of 496 photovoltaic panels, the installation has an installed capacity of 168.64kWp and is capable of producing 170 MWh annually. The energy produced by the plant corresponds to the annual consumption of approximately 150 people in Luxembourg, or the equivalent of the energy needed by an electric vehicle to travel 860,000 km.

In Luxembourg, the National Energy and Climate Plan foresees a reduction in CO2 emissions of around 55% by 2030, as well as an increase in renewable energy leading to 25% of the energy mix and an improvement of up to 44% in energy efficiency. 

The government’s ambition is to take a giant step towards the electrification and decarbonisation of the Luxembourgish economy and society within the next 9 years.

The availability of a qualified workforce is a key element for the success of this plan. In this context, the Minister of Energy, Claude Turmes, visited the Centre de Compétences de l’Artisanat, which aims to train employees in the sector by offering them targeted and continuous professional training.

The role of the craft industry 

The various Engineering and Construction sectors are essential partners in meeting the challenge of the energy transition. In the technical equipment industry alone, more than 500 specialised companies serve as an interface with customers, advise, install and ensure the proper functioning of equipment. Only a craft sector consisting of a multitude of companies of different sizes and specialisations will be able to implement the necessary measures to achieve the envisaged emission reductions within the timeframe. 

A key element in this effort is continuing vocational education and training.

A sector well prepared and trained to meet the challenge of energy transition, with the help of Europe

The craft sector has the resources and skills to play a key role in the energy transition in Luxembourg. Since the creation of its Competence Centre in 2015, the sector has invested heavily in lifelong professional training for company managers and employees, focusing on energy performance.

Michel Reckinger, the president of the Fédération des Artisans, recalls that the creation of the Competence Centre for Technical Building Engineering originated in the framework of the European programme “Build Up Skills Energy Training for Builders”, which aimed to prepare the construction sector for the challenges of the energy transition. 

The aim of the Competence Centre is to stimulate the continuous professional training of craftsmen in the technical engineering sector, especially for building and renovating energy-efficient houses.

“Together with the Institut de Formation Sectoriel du Bâtiment, the building sector has a structured and sector-financed lifelong training system, which is a unique approach in Europe,” Michel Reckinger points out.

Since their creation in 2015, the Competence Centres have organised 6,500 training courses and have trained no less than 25,500 professionals. With the infrastructure in Krakelshaff now operational, the Managing Director of the Competence Centres, Prof. Dr. Marc Ant, is confident that the qualification of companies can be boosted even further.

Marc Thein, President of the Federation of Technical Engineering (of which the Federation des Artisants is a member), points out that the sector offers a whole range of interesting careers for young people. “One of the major challenges in the years to come is the availability of a qualified workforce. The technical engineering professions offer good career prospects in a rapidly expanding sector of the future. Together with the government, we will have to promote our trades and invest in qualification and skills transfers. “

For Claude Turmes, Minister for Energy, the challenge of the energy transition will be met together with the craft industry

The challenge of the energy transition can only be met if the training of craftsmen in the technologies of the future, who play a key role in the implementation of the measures of the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), is ensured.

Energy Minister Claude Turmes was delighted: “Heat pumps are a technology of the future for heating our buildings without using fossil fuels: the energy produced from solar panels installed on the roof will be fed directly into the heat pump and will produce 100% renewable and locally produced energy. Electromobility, powered by green electricity, also plays a key role in the decarbonisation of our energy mix and, like heating systems and photovoltaic installations, requires expert craftsmen, highly trained in the field thanks to the excellent Competence Centres. I am very proud today to see that the industry’s training efforts are in line with the government’s efforts to support households in their energy transition through tools such as energy renovation bonuses. “

You can access this press release in French here.