Energy Island

The island council

Stauns Fjord er kendt som et yndet jagt- og fiskested, men nok mest for 100% træfsikkerhed, når det kommer til smukke naturoplevelser. På vikingernes tid var Stauns Fjord samlingssted for datidens krigere og det søfarende folk.

Stauns Fjord is known as a popular place for hunting and fishing but probably more so for the certainty of beautiful nature experiences. In the time of the Vikings, Stauns Fjord was a gathering place for warriors and the seafarers.

Today, bloody battles and Viking chieftains have been replaced by the municipal council, a mayor and democratically committed citizens on Samsø. But there are still serious issues to talk about as well as victories to be planned. The island council is gathered to talk about the past, the present and jellyfish crisps.

The time has come
Søren Hermansen grew up on Samsø. When Hermansen was a child, hardly any thought was given to renewable energy. He clearly remembers how the word biodiversity suddenly appeared at a summit in Rio De Janeiro in 1992 and people started discussing how they ought to take care of the climate.

Today, it is a natural part of everyday life for the pupils in Year 6 and at school they talk about what biodiversity is on a daily basis. They agree that there must be space for all living things, whether it is in Sildeballe or in South America. There is no longer time to discuss whether the World should do anything – but rather how?

Looking at the others, the oldest member of the island council says: “I think that your generation, with Greta Thunberg at the helm, will help to say that we have to pull ourselves together now and do something! Your voice will only be strong enough to be heard by many saying it together.” Søren calls for less individuality and more community. Insects and positive thoughts on the plate.

 On Samsø, the council is looking at new possibilities and technologies: “My pencil case is made of plastic bottles,” explains Liva, “even though it does not look like a plastic bottle at all!”. Ellen highlights waste-sorting and our food: “We can buy more organic produce and eat more insects”. Sonna proposes communal electric cars and electric buses, “so that not everyone needs a car of their own but can share with others”. If the climate crisis seems scary and unmanageable, it is a good idea to think about the positive things that are happening as well. Liva says that because the sea temperature is rising, more jellyfish are coming. Therefore, some restaurants have started making crisps out of the jellyfish.

Although Samsø is no longer the only place powered by renewable energy, “and thank goodness for that!” adds Hermansen, he still believes that Samsø plays an important role as an example of what can be done.

The agreement
There is broad consensus that Samsø offers a unique tranquility. A chance to relax and to get lost in your own thoughts. When you visit Samsø, you should also get the sense that this is a dynamic community sharing opinions and engaging in debate. This is something that Hermansen values of Samsø: “Samsø’s diversity is something we are proud of! We are an island full of originals and you may be lucky to meet some of them,” he says with a smile.

The meeting has been adjourned and the decision to take part in the climate fight has been agreed.


  • Søren Hermansen is Director of the Energy Academy in Ballen.
  • From the outset in 1997, he has helped make Samsø Denmark’s first renewable energy island.
  • Today Samsø is 100% self-sufficient in electricity from wind turbines and solar cells.
  • Liva, Ellen and Sonna attend Year 6 at Samsø Frie Skole.

Last updated: 25/02/2021 12:31