An optional component of COA’s Rethinking Energy course.  Students from COA, joined by students from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. are on Samsø to once again to study at the Samsø Energy Academy and learn from the Samsø community and their transformation to a renewable energy island.  Students will explore the culture, landscape, community here on Samsø, as well as their own perspectives of how their communities can learn from Samsø’s experiences.  At the end of the week students will share videos they made of their time on Samsø at an open house for the community.

You can read about the student perspectives on our Blog and see photos from the week below (pictures by: Andrea Russell, Margherita Tommasini, Sig Eschholz & Soren Hermansen).  


In 2007 Samsø Island, Denmark, became a carbon-negative island producing more renewable energy than they consume. This 10-year effort, led by Søren Hermansen, maximized community engagement and economic rejuvenation. Before this effort, Samsø faced many problems; its farming and fishing industries were in decline, fuel costs were rising and its young people were leaving and not returning.  Through the Island’s renewable energy efforts, Samsø was able to reinvent itself, bring jobs and energy tourism to the island and become a world leader in community energy strategies. 

In this workshop participants will see first hand how the transformation created opportunities for both individuals and businesses.  We will explore how the successes of Samsø can be translated to a different context given social, economic and political differences.