Aerial view of the former ArcelorMittal industrial site in differdange

Blog #6: Differdange, on the way to electricity self-sufficiency

Differdange, on the way to electricity self-sufficiency

This industrial city is one of the major ones in Luxembourg and the only Luxembourgish selected by the “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities”. It is today one of the most innovative cities in Europe on green and sustainable policies, as testified by an ambitious policy aiming at producing locally the whole citizens’ need.

Diffedange is a small city, with its about 30.000 inhabitants, at the heart of Europe, but it is considered one of major centers in Luxembourg. Since the 18th century, Differdange experienced moved from from artisanal mining to industrial exploitation, receiving the title of town by the Grand Duke William IV of Luxembourg.

Public library Differdange

Thus, this industrialization process of the city has marked by its soul and recent history.

The steel industry has long been the driving force of the Luxembourg economy. Since the merger in 2006, the company ArcelorMittal, leader in global steel production, has always kept the raw iron machining center in Differdange.

The Industrialization and the development of the metallurgical industry in the 20th century quickly made Differdange a modern and lively city. After years of economic difficulties following the steel crisis, Differdange today presents itself as a dynamic and active city.

This economic prosperity made Differdange a new home for people from all around the world with 118 nationalities making up more than 50 percent of the population, making particularly important to work on inclusive policies.

This is also why, Differdange is today recognizing and implementing participative and creative policies.

In recent years, numerous projects have been planned and carried out. These projects notably affect the areas of the creative economy, town planning, food system, education, environment, culture, commerce, leisure and tourism. With the development of the new general development plan (PAG), Differdange is preparing to better respond to the challenges of the “city of tomorrow”.

The PAG (general development plan) defines the conditions for sustainable development of the city in order to offer its residents and visitors all the facilities and services worthy of a dynamic and evolving metropolis in the heart of a rapidly changing region with a high quality of life.

Differdange. 1535° creative hub

Urban development is a permanent evolutionary process. The city’s urban development takes into account economic, social, cultural and environmental needs in order to create prospects for investors and economic enterprises, thus ensuring the conditions for stable economic growth.

The main goal of sustainable urban development is the identification of development potentials, while preserving natural resources through concepts of renewable energy, climate protection and efficient use of space.

Today, Differdange has been selected as one, the only one in country, of the 100 cities selected by the European Commission mission “100 Climate-neutral and Smart Cities”, testifying the standing of this city in the climate transition in Europe.

In this framework, Differdange was one the first, also within those 100, to sign its Climate City Contract (on 29 March 2023), outlining the city’s commitments to climate action and builds a partnership with citizens to work towards a carbon-neutral and climate-resilient future.

One of the latest projects of the city is the definition of the target of producing locally and sustainably 100% of its global need in electricity by 2030 with the support of its population. Data and IT platforms are essential to translate the relevance of our long-term goal to the general public, and in order for the Municipality to better understand the potential of renewable energy in the city and its carbon accounting profile.

This is the challenge that Diffedange defined to work in CLIMABOROUGH. Differdange is looking for a socio-technical systems based on IT platforms that allow the city administration to better engage with available data on energy in order to increase its leverage and credibility when promoting renewable energy production options to both citizens and industry. In addition, the solutions should take into account the diverse and multilingual character of the population and the peculiarities of the industrial sector operating in the area.

More information at the following link:

Learn more about Differdange’s strategy:


Matteo Satta

ANCI Toscana