Turmes wants to “ensure that Cattenom is shut down”


Nathalie Reuter, editorial development director of Maison Moderne, the company that publishes Delano and Paperjam, is seen during an interview with Claude Turmes, the Green party energy minister and regional planning minister, which was webcast live by the Paperjam Club on 29 June 2020. Screengrab: Maison Moderne 

Luxembourg’s energy minister called for the end of nuclear power in the grand duchy and greater region, and outlined his ambitious goals for increasing the use of renewable electricity during a Paperjam Club video interview this week.

“Our target is no longer 11% renewable energy, but almost 30%, of which 20%” should be produced within Luxembourg, Claude Turmes of Déi Gréng (Green party) stated during the interview.

The goal will be achieved by combining investments in solar and wind energy in the grand duchy and abroad, by taking equity in infrastructure projects in exchange for green energy, he explained. That is a model which the Netherlands, champions in the installation of wind turbine fields, are fond of.

Turmes argued that nuclear power must disappear from the country’s energy mix--and from its neighbourhood. “This nation lives with a huge Damocles sword: [the French nuclear power plant in] Cattenom. And I will do everything in my power to ensure that Cattenom is shut down.”

That starts with convincing Luxembourg customers of Cattenom--mainly in the industrial sector--to switch away from it, since 10% of the energy consumed in the grand duchy is atomic. “I spoke again with Franz Fayot [the LSAP economy minister], to see how we can put pressure on industry to buy renewable energy.” The government can guarantee manufacturers that some of the energy generated from offshore wind platforms will be reserved for them, he said.

Turmes was an MEP from 1999 to June 2018, when he joined the coalition cabinet.

The interview was held on Monday in Luxembourgish with a simultaneous English translation.

Watch the interview:

Text originally published by Paperjam and translated for Delano