Ballebjerg, Samsø

Samsø (Samso or Samsoe in English) is a Danish island in the Kattegat 15 kilometers (9 miles) off the Jutland Peninsula. Samsø is located in Samsø municipality. The community has 4124 inhabitants (2006) called Samsingers and is 114 km² in area.

Due to extensive use of wind power and other renewable energy, [1] it is the largest carbon-neutral settlement on the planet. [2]

Renewable Energy Edit

In 1997 the island won a competition for a 10 year project to see if it is practical to generate all the energy from Renewable Energy alone. Because it is an island that has no conventional energy resources of its own, Samsø was an ideal choice for such a controlled experiment.

To date this has mainly been done by using wind power, notably by involving the islanders, who are also shareholders in many of the turbines. With the completion of an offshore wind farm comprising 10 turbines, Samsø has become carbon neutral. The energy produced by these additional wind turbines compensates for the island’s transportation emissions, including the ferries, and all other non-renewable energy sources. Sometimes Samsø’s wind turbines produce so much energy that the island sells it back to the mainland.[3] The people of Samsø heat their homes with straw burned in a central heating system and they power some vehicles on biofuel which they also grow. Since 1998, Samsø began converting its energy into renewable energy, and has been so successful that 100% of its electricity comes from wind power and 75% of its heat comes from solar power and biomass energy.[4] An Energy Academy is now open in Ballen - with a visitor center and including educational perspectives[5].

Samsø is entirely self-sufficient for its electricity, 100% of which is generated by 11 one-megawatt wind turbines installed on land in 2000, while 70% of its heating comes from solar panels, hay and biomass.[6]

The island is also "carbon-neutral", which means that it offsets its own carbon-dioxide emissions by investing in Kyoto Protocol-style projects that reduce pollution elsewhere.

Samsø became carbon-neutral in 2003 when they installed 10 offshore wind turbines that generate 2,3 megawatts each, which enabled them to compensate for 140% of emissions from transport on the island by offering offshore electricity to the rest of Denmark.

The Danish government in 1997 designated Samsø to become a "sustainable energy island" by 2008, a goal it already achieved in 2003 -- five years ahead of schedule -- by fully involving the 4 200 residents in the ambitious objective.

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  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3] Danish Island Is Energy Self-Sufficient April 4, 2007
  4. [4] CBS news 2007/03/08
  5. Samsø Energy Academy
  6. [5]

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