The two Danish islands Bornholm and Samsø have been awarded 1st and 2nd place for this year’s RESponsible Island prize from the EU. The prize rewards islands at the forefront of renewable energy production and sustainable development with involvement from the local community.
The rocky island in the Baltic, Bornholm, has won the 1st prize for its efforts in phasing out coal and oil and instead establishing sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind power facilities, which has resulted in drastically reduced carbon emissions. Bornholm’s ambition is to be CO2 neutral by 2025 and to have a zero-emission and climate-friendly community by 2035.
The island’s sustainable vision has the name Bright Green Island. Aside from sustainable energy production they also focus on more sustainable consumption and producing fresh, organic produce from the island’s many farmers and companies. The combined hotel, restaurant and knowledge center Green Solutions House in the town of Rønne is among the island’s sustainable frontrunners and a great base for exploring the green island.
More information on Bornholm’s 1st prize is available here.
The island Samsø in the middle of Denmark has is celebrated with a 2nd place for its development of a sustainable energy supply with involvement from the locals. The island is self-sufficient with renewable energy from 11 wind turbines and has become a powerhouse of sustainability knowledge for Denmark and the rest of the world. 90% of the island’s wind turbines are owned by the citizens of the island, and the plan is to be completely fossil free in 2030.
Samsø’s Energy Academy opened in 2007 and it serves as a hub for development of new, sustainable ideas and knowledge sharing. The academy hosts workshops and other events and each year, 5000 scientists, politicians, journalists and students visit the island to learn from the local experiences.
More information on Samsø’s 2nd prize is available here.