What Percentage Of Samsø’s Electricity Comes From Renewable Energy Sources – Sheep graze in front of solar panels at a thermal power plant on the island of Samso, Denmark The plant is powered by 75 percent wood collectors and 25 percent solar thermal collectors.
Soren Harmansen apologizes for being tired at the start of an interview with a Dutch reporter. He returned to Denmark from a 21-day visit to Australia, where he gave 15 lectures and took part in other events. The reporter asks Mr. Hermansen how the Australians discovered him, leader of a community half the size of Martha’s Vineyard on a Danish island with just 3,750 people and a few sheep. “I’m famous, it’s not bragging, it’s just a statement of fact,” says Hermansen.
Hermansen and the small island of Samos are recognized worldwide for achieving energy independence. The island achieved this goal 10 years ago using a combination of wind, solar and biomass, and is now working towards an ambitious goal for environmentalists everywhere – to phase out all fossil fuels by 2030 .
Samso turns into this short story about power and we are a living creation of practical principles. ‘ – Søren Hermansen from Farmer’s Renewable Energy Cursor posing in front of the Sams Energy Academy.
The relatively poor island, where many locals see the environment as a bourgeois past, is a pure example of resilience, drawing people from Sydney to Seattle who hope their communities can follow suit. . Today, the Sams Energy Academy, established to coordinate and promote the island’s energy projects, receives more visitors than residents.
In 2008, Hermansen was named Time Magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” along with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his hard-working, green-minded approach. He has also won several prestigious awards in the environmental community, including the Gothenburg Prize for Sustainable Development. In the twenty years since the island’s energy revolution, Hermansen has gone from an unknown vegetable farmer to a celebrity at international environmental events – George Clooney’s Green Kilowatt.
“Sams has become a little story about energy,” says Hermansen, sitting in the academy’s building made of recycled materials and equipped with rainwater toilets. We have been living proof of practical principles. “
The amazing thing is that the people of Samso achieved this fame without inventing anything new, they have no concept of success, they did not overcome cold fusion or acquire new powers. can be done with a practical purpose.
Perhaps most importantly, they proved that renewable energy can be used in a cost-effective way. In fact, many of the island’s farmers make good money selling electricity generated from windmills and wind turbines. Bullets screamed at them and solar panels turned into bank vaults
“I would say [energy independence] can be done anywhere, but if the process was easy [to do], it would be this way,” says Michael Christensen, energy consultant and project manager at Academy SAMS Energy.
Before we talk about Samus, it is important to dispel some myths about Denmark and most foreigners see the Scandinavian nation as a symbol of progress.
After all, this is where bicycles outnumber cars in the capital city of Copenhagen, more than 40 percent of its electricity is generated from the wind, and the country plans to recycle 50 percent of its household waste by 2022. This does not mean that the country’s liberal social policies, such as giving new parents a total of 52 weeks of maternity leave.
However, Denmark with all its greenery, Aden is not environmentally friendly. It has the world’s fourth largest ecological footprint per person, meaning that the Danes need 2-1/2 times more land to provide many natural resources, such as farmland, forests, fish stocks – to ensure their sustainability. their population. .
“Denmark is not an environmental utopia,” says Lars Kjerlof Petersen, who studies society and the environment at Aarhus University in Denmark. , so we do something.”
Historically, Denmark’s energy policy was similar to that of other industrialized nations until the oil crisis of the early 1970s. At the time, more than 90 percent of Denmark’s energy came from oil, almost all of which was imported. . Imagine James Dean’s Los Angeles with century old buildings instead of the Hollywood sign.
“We come from a background where we were like America,” says Mr. Hansen, Ramboll’s project director. “All of Copenhagen, all of Denmark, was designed for cars and ran on fossil fuels. Until 1972, we were absolutely sure that the energy supply was unlimited.”
Jezer Ragh is watching a fire inside the furnace of a central heating plant that the islanders have cut off from domestic oil heating.
But in the 1970s, the Arab oil embargo and the energy crisis changed the concept. Lines at gas stations The government has imposed strict regulations on the use of electricity, such as not allowing cars on the streets on Sundays and forcing people to turn off lights in buildings.
“It takes 10 years to build an economy, but a month to completely destroy it,” says Hansen. This was a wake-up call for all of Danish society. “
Fortunately, Denmark discovered its oil reserves in the North Sea, which eased the pressure somewhat. But it has taken additional steps to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and has begun aggressive development of wind power and other renewable sources.
Before the energy crisis, Sams was no different from the rest of Denmark. It wasn’t the promise of renewable energy that ultimately drew the islanders to green energy like anything else—nuclear power stations.
Denmark was considering building its first nuclear power plant, and many residents of Samsø, including Hermansen, who grew the island’s famous cucumbers, pumpkins and potatoes (Samsø Gold) at the time, were worried about losing the local community control of their electricity supply. gives Central Services So he and 20 other families invested in a small wind turbine in the early 1980s.
In later years, Hermansen studied ecology in college, took up organic farming and often worked with his community’s wind turbines.
“I used to fix it there all the time because it was an old mill and it was broken. It was a farmer and I knew how to fix it like any other car,” says Hermansen.
If it hadn’t been for a competition sponsored by the Danish government in 1997, things would still be uncertain. Following the Kyoto Protocol commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent, Denmark has launched a competition to make one of its communities energy independent within 10 years. Samus won and was tasked with carrying out a 10 year plan to achieve this goal. Acceptance The victory was not achieved with special funding and the island had to apply for government help to go green like other municipalities.
Their plan relies on building a network of coordinated wind turbines on land and at sea. Local residents could buy their shares, and instead of placing the turbines in the best places to catch the wind, they also thought about where the turbines would look best.
In addition, residents were encouraged to ditch oil heaters and replace them with efficient district plant heaters. Although thermal power plants emit carbon pollutants, they burn wood chips and straw grown by farmers, compared to oil imported from Saudi Arabia and other oil nations.
Hermansen was brought in as the first employee to work on delivering and selling the plan to local residents “Not because of my technical skills. “It’s more that I’m a good communicator,” he says. I make some noise in the community.
If you spend any time with Hermansen, it’s not hard to see why he got the job. He has an easygoing disposition that makes him feel like an old friend and acquaintance Within a minute, you will be tempted to give the password to your bank account
When he travels abroad for conferences, he’d rather hang out with his driver — if the organizers provide one — at his favorite local restaurant than eat something with a Zagat rating. . Although he works full-time at the Energy Academy, he comes to the office dressed as a man who is proud not to wear a suit. U
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