Denmark Academy tasks Africa on green energy transition


Mr Michael Christensen, Project Coordinator at Samsø Energy Academy, Denmark, has advised Nigeria and other developing countries to invest more in renewable energy to expand their energy access and drive economic growth.

Christensen made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Samsø, Copenhagen on the sideline of a climate change training organized by the Danida Fellowship Centre for some selected African journalists.

NAN reports that Samsø is an Island in Denmark powered 100 per cent by renewable energy with 21 offshore and onshore wind turbines, local biomass-fueled district heating plants, solar panels among others.

Christensen said that the renewable energy project started about 20 years ago and the Island is now fully powered by green energy.

“In the last 20 years we have been working on this project on renewable energy here on Samsø, where we are looking at electricity production from wind turbines.

“We also have district heating plants that are providing all the houses over here with heat and hot water and we try to have this overall energy plan on how can we implement renewable energy in not only a sustainable way, but also earning money while doing it,” he said.

The energy advisor said the old turbines on the Island’s wind farm produces about 2.4 million kilowatts hour per year, while stressing the economic benefit of the project to residents of the island.

“This is a 1 Megabytes wind turbine that is a little more than 20 years old. It makes 2.4 million kilowatt hours per year. And the payback time was about six years. And it has been up and running for more than 20 years now.

“So it has earned itself back three or four times. We have 11, 1 megabytes , we have ten 2.3 offshore winter bytes.

“Actually, the project that we have done on market trips. So you could actually take our idea and do it all over the world,” he said.

Christensen said that the academy had facilitated the production of similar projects in other parts of the world while urging Africa to take the lead in renewables due to its rich natural sources.

“We have actually done it many places, in the United States, in Japan and also in different countries in Africa. So it’s possible to replicate what we have done. If You can agree on having an overall plan and of course, finding the money for the investment.

“These are very old, so I actually think that the economy is much it’s better now because the new ones, they are more efficient. They make maybe 20 or 25 per cent more electricity than the old ones, and the prices are almost the same.

“So, I actually think you have a better deal now than we did when we started. I don’t know the energy prices in Nigeria, but most countries can have a quite short return of investment in these renewable energy projects,” he said.

Christensen said the island which is fully powered by green energy also has various solar storage and charging carports for it’s electric cars.

“We safe a lot of money by making this investment very early on, even though people thought it was very expensive when we made it.

“Now they can see that it’s a very good investment, it does something good for the environment and also creates a very big car pool of electric cars,” he added.

In 1997, Samsø was designated Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island with a mandate to prepare a 10-year energy plan for the island to modify its energy supply from fossil to renewable energy.

The Island is now investing in a sustainable future through a number of renewable energy projects and the Academy opened in 2007 seeks to share its unique knowledge and make it accessible to others.


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