Livin’ Breezy

Dan Conant

With many countries setting goals for reductions in fossil fuel consumption after the recent Copenhagen climate conferences;  countries are trying to even produce 25% of their energy from clean or renewable sources.  But what about 100%?  For most 100% seems ludicrous; but on an island in Denmark it is very feasible and has been proven to be possible.  Located right off the North Sea, the wind never stops howling across this island, and the islanders are willing to everything on the line to be provided with clean power.  Also, the islanders are very motivated as they have large stakes and own many shares in the turbines.

Turbines Off Of Samso. Photographer Unknown

Samso island is home to roughly four-thousand people who are excited to move forward with their wind turbine expansion.  One main reason for the islanders willingness to put up these turbines is that typically people living on islands pay from two to four times as much for electricity compared to people on the mainland.  Although the turbines do make some noise as their blades whiz through the air and they take away from the serene look on the island; free power is more than enough to convince them to keep pushing forth with turbine expansion.  Not to mention that once the turbine building is complete, the people of Samso will have the potential to sell electricity back to the grid, helping them pay back their investments sooner and eventually making a profit.

Many in the environmental fields are pushing Samso island as an example of how populations can be freed from fossil fuels and almost eliminate their carbon footprint, but there are still many skeptics.  Samso island is lucky enough to have a great location to be able to utilize the abundant winds off the north sea, and has plenty of space to erect turbines.  In comparison, Samso island is significantly larger than Manhattan, NY.  Additionally, the funding for such projects is very costly, but due to an enthusiastic local population the turbine expansion is becoming possible.  Furthermore Samso may not be able to be comparable to major cities due to population density and other factors, but it is an important representation of how a green-motivated economy can be successful in achieving its goals for renewable energy.

Information for this article was gathered from this link.

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conantd

Dan is a junior environmental studies major and is currently an intern for Dickinson's Center for Sustainability Education.

2 thoughts on “Livin’ Breezy”

  1. I do think that migratory bird routes should be considered in the placement of wind turbines as there are plenty of locations that are suitable for turbines across the US.

    Also, I personally do not support biofuels as they are not efficient and are one of the governments largest mistakes ever made in regards to energy policy (I’m assuming you’re talking about corn being subsidized).

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