The Samso Energy Academy is a place of learning about the unique island of Samso, situated in the center of Denmark. Here, one is introduced to what makes Samso a model for the future in terms of sustainability and renewable energy.
The idea behind the island of Samso is similar to the motivations behind the enshrining of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale in Denmark’s most famous landmark, `The Little Mermaid´. The Samso fairytale wishes to be a good, but instructive tale for others.
Samso is an island which won a competition organised by the Danish government to fund an experiment for a society to attempt running on 100% renewable energy. Samso won on the strength of ist pragmatic policies – the only real innovation its winning entry put forward was that of organization and structure. Samso places an emphasis on including its residents in the move towards renewable energy – its wind turbines amount to 60 million euros in investment, half of which are funded by residents who now enjoy returns on their investments.
Samso believes that the most important aspects of garnering cooperation towards switching from traditional energy forms to sustainable ones is that of working together with local residents and involving them in decision-making, as well as profit gaining so that these decisions make good economic sense. It is acknowledged that not all residents are tree-huggers. Instead, many have participated in the program due to its practicality and business sense. Passive marketing and political flair are also essential tools for leaders wishing to gain local acceptance.
As of today, Samso has managed to attain impressive progress towards its goal of a sustainable society. Its heating systems run on solar power and the burning of recycled wood chips and straw. Transport systems are powered by 10 offshore turbines and boasts a 140% carbon dioxidereduction. The future awaits.
– Sonia Mao