100+% Renewable Island
Photo credit: Lolland Municipality
Photo credit: Nysted Wind Farm Dong Energy
Photo credit: Community of Lolland
Photo credit: Jens Gyldenkærne Clausen
100% Renewable Energy Goal Achieved:
100% Renewable Electricity and Beyond
Island of Lolland, Denmark
By 2006, the island of Lolland off the coast of Denmark already was making 50% more power from wind than it could use. To make use of this extra renewable electricity, Lolland decided to apply it to the production of hydrogen for a hydrogen fuel cell plant. A hydrogen fuel cell is similar to a battery, but it never runs out and requires a continuous feed of hydrogen and oxygen to work. Oxygen is all around us in the air, and hydrogen can be made by splitting water molecules (H2O) into its components hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O2). The process of making hydrogen requires energy. Lolland uses its extra wind energy for this purpose, and therefore, its hydrogen fuel cell plant is 100% renewable.
The project has taken place in three phases:
1. November 2006: A demonstration facility for residential Hydrogen Fuel Cell Combined Heat and Power (CHP) - a highly efficient technology that produces both electricity and usable heat - was built in the island's town of Nakskov.
2. 2008: The demonstration facility was connected to existing buildings. Also small 2 kw Hydrogen Fuel Cell CHP units were installed in 5 homes to show that houses could become their own efficient, secure, decentralized production units of heat and power, without any need for large, centralized utilities.
3. 2010-2012: Currently, the decentralized Fuel Cell CHP program is expanding to 35-40 homes.
Lolland has become internationally recognized for its efforts. As one example of influencing people beyond its borders, the island's experts recently teamed up with University of California Santa Cruz on a Danish-American educational exchange about renewable energy.