Founded in 2007 on the island of Samsø, once a meeting place for the Vikings, the Energy Academy is now a gathering place for people interested in community development.
We are eight full-time employees living on Samsø and affiliated consultants, and we are working on the consequences of climate change.
Starting from home, our vision is to make Samsø carbon free by 2030. The Energy Academy has been the driving force of the engagement process that led the community on Samsø take steps towards change, take responsibility for local climate action, co-finance sustainable energy investments on the island to achieve the current negative carbon footprint, and at the same time support the island’s sustainability and economy.
We very soon realised that we are not alone in this transition and that we needed to reach out, inspire other communities take elements from Samsø to their societies and see how they work there, and eventually make a network of community hubs that think the same way. We have now assumed the responsibility, to help make the case that community-based sustainable energy can be at the same time: a solution for communities facing challenges; good business for investors; and effective local climate action.
At the Energy Academy we welcome annually delegations and thousands of energy tourists from around the world to see and hear first-hand the community-driven process and the renewable energy projects that have made Samsø a brand name globally. We also host meetings on education and research, capacity building courses and seminars, and exhibitions about energy, climate change, circular economy and sustainable resources.
Projects Smart Islands Energy System (SMILE): Demonstrating and further developing smart-grid related technologies and non-technological solutions at Ballen Harbour and Ballen Ferry port in the island of Samsø, Denmark, and in two more large-scale pilot projects in the islands of Orkney, UK and Madeira, Portugal. Each of the demonstrators brings a specific set of challenges, technology options and energy market conditions and follows a step-by-step approach aiming to build confidence among the relevant stakeholders. The objective is to test solutions while establishing mutual learning processes and provide best practice guidance for the rollout of smart grid solutions in the coming years. Read more
Global expansion of sustainable community projects (Tentou): Experience from the island of Samsø, Denmark, with a world-wide reputation for community divestment in fossil fuel infrastructure and investment in renewable energy, shows that a community may act easier for change when there are social and financial community benefits. The Energy Academy that facilitated the community engagement process on Samsø used this project to share this experience and provide capacity building and leadership development opportunities to communities in Japan, Australia, Maine (US) and Hawaii (US). Read more
MATCH: Supporting the transition to a sustainable energy system through comparative case studies of smart grid solutions for small consumers in Norway, Austria and Denmark. MATCH contributes with new knowledge of how to design and implement comprehensive smart grid solutions for households and small profit/non-profit organisations. It aims to identify characteristics related to technological design, market solutions and types of stakeholder involvement (e.g. in relation to ownership) that influence how well small consumers adopt smart grid solutions. Read more
Islands of Innovation: Investigating and improving public policy measures to turn islands into innovation promoting, experimental “probing and learning” environments, which can keep and attract young, innovative, and entrepreneurial people and activity to the islands. It uses case studies from the islands of the province of Fryslân (Netherlands), Samsø (Denmark), Saaremaa (Estonia), Madeira and Açores (Portugal), Guadeloupe (France), North Aegean region (Greece). It aims to contribute to policy improvement, learning sessions, action plan development, good practice identification, and sharing and active work on the islands with the involvement of regional stakeholder groups. Read more.
Night Light: The Samsø Energy Academy (Denmark) together with regional authorities and partners from The Netherlands, Hungary, Spain, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Italy work together to improve regional policies for the prevention of light pollution, the designation of natural areas where the night sky is protected and the introduction of new services and facilities for the development of sustainable ecotourism related to the dark sky. Read more.
Night Hawks: Raising awareness and providing training about energy efficiency in the retail industry. The Samsø Energy Academy (Denmark) together with other agencies from Sweden, Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, France, UK and Germany engaged stakeholders and provided training to more than 1,500 persons in the sector of shops, shopping centres and retail parks with the aim to tap the significant energy savings potential of up to 16% from no cost and low cost measures. Read more.
SMILEGOV: Enhancing effective implementation of sustainable energy action plans in European islands through reinforcement of smart multilevel governance. The Samsø Energy Academy (Denmark), together with other agencies from the Aegean islands (Greece), Gotland and Öland (Sweden), Saaremaa and Hiiumaa (Estonia), Canary islands (Spain), Madeira (Portugal), Cyprus, Malta, Scottish islands, island regions and small islands worked together to strengthen local capacity and improve multilevel cooperation in European islands to support the delivery of their sustainable energy goals. Read more