Bornholm: A 100% Renewable Energy Island – No.4 G20 series

In our past three articles within our Blog-Series leading up to the G20 summit in Hamburg, we countered the main arguments of Mr. Trump against the energy transition. We’ve shown how renewables are getting more affordable, how businesses – based on the energy transition – create new jobs and how small-scale power plants are being smoothly integrated with the local architecture.

While chancellor Merkel once again highlighted the importance of reaching the Paris Agreement climate goal ahead of G20, there are already a lot of businesses, projects and nations who recognize the climate change and support the energy turnaround. This week, we introduce the Danish island of Bornholm as an example for a sustainable energy economy. The goal of Denmark is a 100% energy supply through renewables by 2050. The island of Bornholm is way ahead of the schedule. Bornholm has shifted already away from fossil fuels and relies solely from energy by wind, sun and bio-mass. It is predicted to be carbon neutral by 2025. To get there, the local DSO did setup 1.000 new photovoltaic systems and fuels the local plants only with locally produced bio-mass. Households’ energy sourcing was converted from oil-fired burners to district heating, heat pumps and solar heating. Bornholm also invested in charging stations for electric mobility and launched a campaign to promote car-free transportation.

One challenge of the transition towards renewables is managing the volatility of renewables’ power plants and the flexible consumption of devices such as heat pumps. To address this challenge, 2000 Bornholmers take part in in the EcoGrid EU smart grid project which was rewarded with the EU Sustainable Energy Award 2016. Within the smart grid, consumption was adjusted to the production and shifted to times where energy was more affordable and lowered when the price was high. At the beginning of the project the participants stated they were mainly motivated by lower electricity bills. However, this motivation became secondary and doing good for the environment and the local community gained importance. The project’s success is due to the technical infrastructure as well as involving the local community and creating awareness of the project.


source: euenergyweek (EU Sustainable Energy Week Awards 2017 Finalist – Bornholms Energi & Forsyning)


This story is the fourth of our series “Make our planet great again”. We intend to show Mr. Trump that the Paris agreement and the energy transition go far beyond idealism. We will publish a success story per week until the G20 in Hamburg in July.

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