That’s why we call this blog “Positive Change”
Change has taken place and is still happening: Because as a local society, Samsø has via community, trust and unity been able to follow a master plan and collaborate on carrying it out over a period of 20 years.
In 1997, Samsø won a government competition among 22 Danish local communities to become Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island. Today, Samsø is 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy, using solar, wind and biomass. The Municipality of Samsø and Samsø Energy Academy are now in full swing with a new plan to phase out the use of fossil fuel on the island, 20 years ahead of the rest of Denmark.
People from all over the world make the journey to Samsø to find out about what a society with a sincere desire to make a positive change can accomplish.
Samsø is a colorful community of approximately 3,500 year-round inhabitants who share both good and bad experiences that aren’t only of the practical kind. Its work within sustainability and green transition has resulted in a diverse understanding of existence, nature and life that we would like to gather and share with you on this blog. In other words, we want to dig deeper than the usual practical presentation of facts, figures, climate goals, and CO2. Instead, we are creating a universe of articles for immersion, where curious and inquisitive people like you can read about the numerous positive changes that have taken place and are taking place at Samsø Energy Academy.
This blog is a voice that tells about a social success within Denmark’s green transformation and development, and functions as a kind of parallel reference in an otherwise often overwhelming and polarized environmental debate.
One of the blog’s tenets is the aim to encompass constructive, inspirational stories. Another ambition is to inspire readers in a way that makes clear how you can to launch your own positive change scenarios in a practical way.
And remember, you can always email us or stop by the Energy Academy and have a chat with us over a cup of coffee.
The people and the place behind the blog. Samsø Energy Academy started this blog on January 1, 2017, but it’s exactly 20 years since it all really started. Today, we dare say that it was the start of a broad green revolution which is humbly regarded as a kond of dandelion that grows both downward and upward and can grow anywhere.
It all started in 1997, when the Danish government launched a competition to select a Danish island that would become self-sufficient with renewable energy in only 10 years, using approved technology, existing legislation, and public participation.
There were only three people to kick start the application process for the competition: The mayor, the blacksmith, and an engineer from Jutland (Western Denmark), who decided to draft a competition plan. The three of them did it without a mandate; they were confident that what they were doing was okay even without informing the 5,000 year-round inhabitants that Samsø had at the time. These three people believed instinctively that Samsingers (which is what the inhabitants of Samsø are called) would be able to join together to make Samsø become 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy.
The three of them were right, and the positive change lifted the goal to much more and beyond, which continues to benefit Samsø. They didn’t know at the time that they kicked off a large popular movement. One of the objective results is that today, Samsø is more than 100% self-sufficient in electricity generated by renewable sources.
Today, the island of Samsø and Samsø Energy Academy are working on phasing out the use of fossil fuels such as diesel and petrol in order to become a Fossil-Free Island. The Energy Academy is also in full swing disseminating the island’s Best Practice to Next Practice, so the entire world can visit Samsø Energy Academy, located in Denmark’s epicenter of self-sufficiency.
Samsø Energy Academy is a non-profit, and is run by us! Formally, we have an open structure with a director, Søren Hermansen, nine employees, a proactive Board, and a dynamic local association.
The Energy Academy’s practical work focuses on optimizing houses and public buildings for energy efficiency, as well as phasing out the use of fossil fuels on the island. Other tasks include developing partnerships based on energy efficiency, and developing capacity tools that help the consumer without being a financial burden.
Communication is crucial the work of the Energy Academy. People need to be able to see and understand that the necessity for positive change has many different economic bottom lines.
This is why we on Samsø dare call our work sustainable development and transition in the here and now. Samsø Energy Academy can be reached by bicycle from every town on the island, and it is located just outside the harbor town of Ballen. The Energy Academy’s building was designed by Arkitema, and built by local workers. The success of making Samsø the world’s first self-sufficient Renewable Energy Island lies particularly in the special culture and sense of community on the island. Based on our strong sense of place, we have been able to look each other in the eye, and with an equal portion of healthy skepticism and curiosity been able to bring about change. That’s why it’s more than just Samsø as a place, but each and every one of the island’s 3,700 year-round inhabitants – as well as Samsø Energy Academy’s global network – that are the source of this blog.
The blog is run by the Energy Academy’s Communications Department together with its external editor, Cecilie Marie Meyer.
If you have questions about the Energy Academy’s work, you can email Head of Communications Malene Lundén at email@example.com . If you have ideas for topics, or if you have comments, criticism or praise for a specific blog post, you can contact Editor Cecilie Marie Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org