Samsø, Denmark
Zhang Ruiqi   Apr 30.2016

Introduction

Samso: World's First 100% Renewable Energy-Powered Island Is a Beacon for Sustainable Communities
Samso is the first island in the world to be completely powered by renewable energy. Great progress has been achieved since the implementation of the master plan in the late 1990s.

Reason to Be Selected

The project began after Denmark's Minister for the Environment—Auken—returned from the Kyoto Climate Talks in Japan, enthusiastic about his country reducing its carbon emissions. In 1997, Auken announced a competition asking local communities or islands to present the most realistic and realizable plan for a 100 percent transition to self-sufficiency through renewable energy. Samso was announced the winner and received funding by the Danish Energy Authority to formulate the details of their master plan.

Highlights:

There are four district heating plants. Three of the heating facilities use straw, a by-product of growing barley, and one uses wood chips from local forests in Samso combined with solar thermal panels used to heat water. After combining straw and solar power with heating pumps, the plants would use less straw, thereby providing the opportunity to build a new biogas plant that would fuel cars.

Details

Ten years later, Samso was generating more electricity from renewable energy than it consumed, mainly from 11 onshore and 10 offshore wind turbines, totaling 34 megawatts. Samso's CO2 footprint is negative 12 tons per inhabitant, which includes the 10 offshore turbines that were built to compensate for carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The average CO2 footprint in Denmark is 10 tons per inhabitant. If the offshore turbines were not included, the Samso footprint would be 4.5 tons per inhabitant. Samso's long-term goal is to be a fossil free island, phasing out oil, gas and coal by 2030.

Ten 2.3 megawatt offshore wind turbines were installed more than two miles south of Samso to offset the CO2 emissions from the transportation sector on the island, including cars, ferries and farming equipment. Five of the offshore wind turbines were purchased by the Samso municipality, three by Samso farmers and two by an investment company selling smaller shares to stakeholders.

Ownership of the wind turbines by locals made them an integral part of the project and helped contribute to the success of the master plan. Samso has become a global example of how to create a sustainable community through local ownership and community engagement.

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Organic produce farm

Though the majority of crops grown on the island are conventional—using a significant amount of pesticides—there's a growing movement towards organically grown produce, dairy products and grains.

The plan is for the land to be bought by a foundation to ensure it will remain organic and provide opportunities for younger generations to farm. This new ownership model is being developed to attract new generations to grow organic food.

Energy Academy

The Energy Academy functions as a conference center where companies, scientists and politicians can come to discuss renewable energy, energy savings and new technologies, and learn firsthand how Samso successfully implemented their 10-year renewable energy plan combined with its current focus of becoming a fossil free island by 2030.

Inspiration is felt on many different levels at the Energy Academy. In addition to a wealth of information to help ignite the most elaborate sustainability plans, the building itself eloquently showcases green building principles. It has a natural ventilation system and uses rainwater to flush toilets and provides hot water through a small thermal solar system. Walls and windows are highly insulated to minimize energy consumption and the building is heated by the local straw-based district heating plant. All electric appliances are A-class energy savers, the electric lighting is low energy and the windows are positioned to maximize passive solar energy.

The Samso Energy Academy is a beacon for the rest of the world, illustrating how we can create sustainable communities through local ownership and local engagement.

 

 

 

Samsø - (City IQ)

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