Official SUNY ESF DLA Off-Campus Blog

Martha’s Vineyard & Denmark’s Samsø Island – More in Common Than Expected? by t.devlin
September 29, 2010, 9:36 am
Filed under: Martha's Vineyard 2010

Much like Martha’s Vineyard, the island economy of Samsø in Denmark depends on thousands of tourists and has a small core of year round residents active in the island’s planning process. Accessible by ferry, island residents pay more for everything than residents of  mainland Denmark.  However, the island has recently become energy independent, and actually generates more energy than the island uses.   Ten onshore and eleven offshore wind turbines combined with improving efficiency in homes and offices, using renewable resources on and around the island, and active community involvement make energy independence possible.  Tourists still travel to Samsø every year, now with a new interest to see sustainability and renewable energy in action.

Here on island, the Vineyard Energy Project (VEP) over the last few months has been reaching out to island residents discussing the energy resources of Martha’s Vineyard.  Island residents have been in strong support of a community-owned cooperative that would keep the power generated on the Vineyard. Energy independence may be in the future for Martha’s Vineyard as supported by the island plan’s vision for a sustainable future.

Having the opportunity to study in Denmark over the summer, I think there is a lot to learn from the Danish approach to the landscape and land planning.  Take a moment and watch the brief video below to see Jesper Kjems of the Samsø Energy Academy give a brief introduction to energy independence on Samsø:




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