Energy Lecture: Søren Hermansen

Søren Hermansen: How to be an energy independent community

Energy Academy Europe and Studium Generale are proudly hosting an Energy Lecture with Søren Hermansen. He is the driving force behind the “Samsø project”, which focusses on realizing a 100% renewable island in Denmark, and won the Gothenburg Award in 2009,
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The Energy Lecture will take place on May 11th.

Our current energy system is reaching its limits. It is becoming apparent that it needs to change towards a system that uses renewable sources of energy. This energy transition brings challenges that will affect everybody. These challenges are not only about technology, but also about aspects such as local engagement. The Dutch Wadden or West-Frisian  islands are a perfect pioneering example of a community which is actively involved in the energy transition.

In 1997, the Danish government held a contest challenging five populated islands to cut their carbon footprint and increase production of renewable energy. Samsø, an island of 4,100 people west of Copenhagen, won the contest and is now 100% renewable. Recently featuring in Time Magazine, the island has received international recognition for leading the world in sustainable alternative energy. It is producing 10 % more than its  residents use each year. They not only created a 100% renewable energy system, but also a 100% renewable society around the system. How they did it? Not by convincing the entire island in one go; realizing this goal happens by engaging one person at the time,  until finally everyone is on board.

Samsø bears a lot of similarities with the Dutch islands, which are in the process of becoming 100% renewable. Terschelling, Ameland and Texel are aiming to be self-sufficient by 2020. In this special ‘Energy Lecture’, Søren Hermansen compares the Dutch islands to the island of Samsø. He talks about the power of local ownership, decentralized development, the importance of local responsible development, and how we can use this in the energy transition of the Netherlands, beginning at the Dutch islands.

Søren Hermansen is director of the Samsø Energiakademi and head of the Samsø renewable energy island project. In 2009, he received the Gothenborg Prize — the Nobel Prize of the environmental field, and he is the driving force behind the transformation of the Danish island Samsø. His knowledge and experience is widely recognized and well received by audiences from all over the world. He has appeared in multiple TV shows, including the Dutch show ‘Tegenlicht’. He is well-known as an inspirational speaker, with lots of commitment, attitude and an intelligent sense of humor, which hits all types of audiences. Naturally, he shared his story at Energy Convention 2010 and TEDx!

Monday 11 May

20:00 – 21:30

Aula, The Harmonie Building
(Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, Groningen)

For more information and registration see also

Dutch version

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