The Danish Island Langeland Has Cracked the Green Code

State of Green
By Danish Energy Association, January 10, 2017

While many are familiar with the high share of renewable energy on Samsø, fewer people have heard of the Danish island Langeland where wind turbines, CHP plants, and solar cells cover 177 percent of the electricity consumption.

Wind turbines, CHP plants and solar cells cover 177 percent of the electricity consumption on the Danish island Langeland. Unfortunately, very few know of the island’s green success.

The wind energy in Denmark delivers 42 percent of the annual electricity consumption – however, locally, coverage could be much higher. Langeland is one of the local areas that shows the world how integrating wind energy and other renewable energy resources into electricity grids can be easier done than one would presume. 

The wind turbines on Langeland cover 164 percent of the consumption and if we include the electricity production from the CHP plant in Rudkøbing and the solar cells, the green electricity production of Langeland sums up to 177 percent, says Kim Henning Hansen from Langeland’s Electricity Supply.

– Related news: Danish Energy Statistics 2015: Renewables now cover 56% of electricity consumption

Years ago, Kim Henning Hansen was part of several working groups under the auspices of the Danish Electricity Utilities Association (now known as the Danish Energy Association). Here, the engineers had to estimate the capacity for wind turbines in the Danish electricity system. Initially, everybody had to get acquainted with the new technology – a transition that worried the people of Langeland:

– We were worried about the new technology at Langeland but all our concerns turned out to be redundant. We have not experienced any technical challenges here on the island, says Kim Henning Hansen.

Related news: EcoGrid wins European Sustainability Award

More promoting is needed

Langeland has approximately 12,500 inhabitants – three times as many people as Samsø has. Samsø is internationally known for its extremely high share of renewable energy – a familiarity that stems from the fact that the community is very actively involved and that the CEO Søren Hermansen from Samsø Energy Academy is very good at spreading the story of Samsø both nationally and internationally.  

According to Kim Henning Hansen, Langeland has to be better at branding themselves in the future.

We are not using our green profile enough. We have a good story that we need communicate better, says the CEO.

– Related news: Japanese Village Seeks Danish Inspiration to Go Green

Advice from former residents

There is roughly 44 MW of wind energy, 8 MW biomass cogeneration, and 2 MW solar cells on the island. With a coverage of 177 percent green electricity, Langeland trumps most islands in the world. The citizens have a remarkable technical story to tell. As an added bonus, the father of electromagnetism, Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851) was also born in Rudkøbing Pharmacy.

Yes, Langeland must promote its many qualities in art, culture, nature and technology, says the former resident, Helle Kastrupsen.

She suggests that the island’s strongest players collaborate in order to develop a common story and a common vision – like they did on Samsø and Bornholm.

Related news: The Fundamentals of Bioeconomy: The Biobased Society

High delivery security

In terms of electricity, Langeland has a connection of 60 kV with Fyn and Ærø that provides them with backup when the wind turbines are standing still. In addition to the expansion of wind energy, Langeland’s Energy Supply has put all of its 0.4 and 10 kV compounds in the soil in order for the grid to avoid exposure to wind and weather. As a result, supply security is very high.

While laying all the necessary cables, we also strengthened the grid when needed in relation to the new wind turbines. That has meant fewer errors and an advantage to all our customers, says Kim Henning Hansen.

Source: Danish Energy Association

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