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"Renewable Energy Island" – Samsø, Denmark

An island community powered entirely by renewable energy and it’s right here on planet earth. Samsø, an island of 4,500 citizens off the coast of Denmark is powering their entire island from a portfolio of renewable energy resources according to a very interesting story in the New Yorker.

Traditionally the Island, received oil and from the mainland but the progressive community of Samsø banded together and invested in renewable energy because in 1997 Denmark held a contest to see which community could supply all of its energy needs through renewable energy resources. By 2001, the Samsø Island had cut its oil imports by 50% and by 2005 the island had developed enough renewable energy resources that the island itself was producing more energy it could use and was exporting it to the mainland. In 4 years they were able to invest and deploy renewable energy, this small community of 4,500 people was supplying the mainland with energy!

Samsø, also nicknamed “Renewable Energy Island” is a community of farmers who are just normal people. Without and tax credits, rebates or federal government support the citizens of the island was so passionate about the project that they got it done without any help! The portfolio of renewable energy technologies include solar power, solar water heating, off shore wind power, residential wind turbines, biomass, residents have also converted their tractors and cars to run on canola oil.

This is a real case study of a community that can generate its own clean green energy while supplying extra energy to communities nearby. Typically islands around the world import all their energy, while Samsø is doing the opposite. Do you think the rest of the world could what the island community of Samsø has done for their energy needs as a motivator to change the way they traditionally acquire energy? Do you think this case study can be applied around in your neighborhood?

Author: Deep Patel

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