Meet Denmark’s First 100% Renewable-Energy Island

Denmark and the island of Samso is the “Go To” destination for the world to learn about the successful transition to the low-carbon economy. In 1995, at COP 3 in Kyoto, Denmark, Sweden and Germany agreed to cut CO2 emissions at that time by 21%. This commitment was followed in Denmark by a competition to become the first Danish 100% renewable-energy community. The island of Samso won this competition and took on the challenge of transitioning from a traditional energy supply, based primarily on fossil fuels, to a society based on renewable energy.

Samso submitted a 10-year, detailed, year-by-year master plan delineating what technologies and fuels would be used to do the job!

Samso is a small community of 4,000 people. It is an independent municipality and, in many ways, a good example of a rural Danish community. People live normal lives and primarily make a living from farming and tourism. Culture and art is also an important economic asset. Quite a few musicians, painters and writers find success on Samso.

To take on a challenge like the energy project is not an easy one! Most rural communities are quite conservative when it comes to change. We know what we have and it is good! New developments and technologies need time, many meetings and lots of coffee! It is important to feel comfortable and to feel engaged and involved in a project. It was one of the first, and perhaps the most important, lesson learned by the project developers. Keep the project open and take as much time as is needed to make people feel they own the project. If everything is concluded and described in detail — presented as a fait accompli — people feel left out and not part of the process.

The people of Samso are proud of the island! —> Read More