Samso Island is the world’s first island to be completely powered by renewable energy. The island is situated near Copenhagen, Denmark. Samso is the result of the 10-year Renewable Energy Island Project. The project started after Denmark’s Minister for the Environment, Svend Auken, attended the Kyoto Climate Talks is Japan. In 1997, Auken held a competition where local communities were asked to provide the most realistic plan for a 100% transition to self-sufficiency using renewable energy. One peninsula and four islands participated in the competition. Samso was the winner and received funding from the Danish Energy Authority to come up with the details of their master plan. Here are the highlights of the project:
1. Samso generates more electricity from renewable energy than it consumed from 11 onshore and 10 offshore wind turbines which total 34 megawatts.
2. Samso’s Carbon dioxide footprint is negative 10 tons per inhabitant. This includes 10 offshore turbines built to compensate for carbon emissions from traffic.The average carbon dioxide footprint in Denmark is 10 tons per inhabitant.
3. Nine of the 11 onshore wind turbines were bought by farmers, and the other two were purchased by the 500 residents of Samso. Every 1-megawatt wind turbine can power about 630 homes.
4. The ten, 2.3-megawatt offshore wind turbines were installed two miles away south of Samso to stay away from the carbon dioxide emissions from cars, ferries and farming equipment on the island. Five of the offshore wind turbines were bought by the Samso municipality; three were purchased by the farmers, and the other two were bought by an investment company.
By making the local people part of the project has made the master plan successful. Samso is now a global example to create a sustainable community.