Stop at Samsø – the wind power island
We were excited to take off for the island Samsø. We had a meeting booked with Mr. Samsø himself, Søren Hermanson – the man who turned the island and municipality into energy independence by investing in the building of their own wind power plants. After hard work for 10 years convincing the island's inhabitants that this was not only a smart and healthy idea, it was also lucrative. .
The sun, the wind and the water. I can't stop loving the life they bring to us.
Farmers, pirates, rebels?
Nope, just very smart off-gridders:-)
They have paid their last oil invoice from the mainland. Since the transformation into wind power, they are invoicing the mainland for the surplus electricity delivered from their beautiful wind farm south of the island.
Søren Hermanson welcomed us to Samsø Energy Academy – a center where they welcome visitors and host events for curious people from all over the world. Then we jumped into his electric car and went for an energy-friendly tour around the island.
Get the short story direct from Søren and have a peek into their Academy building built with recycled materials and energized by the sun.
The Samsø wind power farm generates the major portion of the energy needs on the island and generates even a substantial amount of surplus energy that is being sold to the grid on the mainland.
This is the municipal garage for electric cars. For free and only filling up via the sun. There are also charging stations all around the island.
The new self-sustainable era on the island has made the islanders proud and more conscious about the asset they live on. Samsø Island Potatoes have always been a well-known gourmet treasure, and the increased value within their new ecological, clever and sustainable lifestyle will most likely help the potatoes reach even more prestigious levels.
The island now has 15 bee farms for pollination purposes. While driving along this pumpkin field Søren pointed out "– Those pumpkins out there wouldn't be pumpkins without the bees."
The increased feel-good Samsø vibe even fooled us to believe that the Danish fashion brand "Samsoe Samsoe" was from this very island haha... But it originates from two Samsoe brothers living in Copenhagen. Too bad...it felt pretty good to believe in it while it lasted.
A flourishing Eco-Capitalism role model
Want to know more about their success? Just google "Samso sustainability wind power" and you will be swamped with information from all kinds of sources and prestigious media from all over the world.
We love the power of good examples. Samsø is one of them...raising powerful awareness by walking the talk.
In 1997 n the Danish government initiated an experiment for a community to reach 100% renewable energy efficiency, phased in over the course of ten years. Samsø was chosen because an island is an easily controlled environment, suitable to gather data from. The 4,000 islanders agreed to join in on the wind power idea and to invest in ten wind turbines located in the water. The excess energy is sold to the mainland for a profit. Samso islanders have a neutral carbon footprint, excellent tax breaks, and 100 percent renewable electricity, and they collectively earn a profit from their 10-turbine wind farm. Denmark is a world leader in wind energy production. The Danish government plans on making wind power account for over 50% of its total energy usage by the year 2020. Denmark has the largest wind power capacity in proportion to the overall electricity consumption of any nation. (energinet.dk, 2014). Denmark began investing in wind technology in the 1970s, following the energy crises of that decade.
Coming issue...using the waste as a resource!
In the coming years, Samsø aims to be a model community for the creation of an environmentally friendly circuit with a sustainable farming industry and household infrastructure where waste will be used to generate renewable energy.
Food scraps, such as waste crops and grass will be used over and over again as part of a large circular system with a minimum loss . The islanders will have to eat more local produce and the waste will be transformed into fuel (biogas) and fertilisers. The plan is to use the biogas to power the ferry that runs between Samsø and the Danish mainland.
Bye bye Samsø, we will be back!
Søren dropped us off at the Kolby Harbour and it was time for us to leave. Next stop on our route toward Kiel is Nyborg where we sadly have to drop off Johannes and Oscar.
A nice chat in the cockpit before time to leave...and for some reason this new solar powered lamp popped up as a subject. Great idea with a solar panel on the back charging a lamp so people can have light for free when it is dark...but the design? We agreed that we didn't really get the point with the flower.
A very inspiring but short one day stop-over. We will be back for sure.
Sailing further south to Nyborg in mellow winds, but with no stress...
...an undisputed definition of "no stress".