- Søren Hermansen
- Director, Samsø Energy Academy
Søren Hermansen has been the driving force behind the transformation of Samsø into a world famous renewable energy island. His strong leadership is recognized worldwide.
Situated in the middle of Denmark, Samsø, an island of 3,800 inhabitants, won a 1997 competition launched by the Danish Ministry of the Environment to select Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island. The effort started with Mr. Hermansen, a former high school environmental studies teaher, who tirelessly explained the benefits of clean energy to the people in his community during countless town meetings. Within ten years, the island succeeded in becoming 100% self-sufficient through renewable energy, and is now exporting its excess wind-powered electricity to the rest of Denmark.
Mr. Hermansen is currently Director of the Samsø Energy Academy, which opened in 2007. The Academy arranges yearly exhibitions, workshops and corporate events, which regularly attract 6,000 politicians, journalists, and students from around the world. Researchers from both Danish and foreign educational institutions are able to conduct energy research at the Academy, and island residents can get free advice on sustainable solutions.
For his innovative work, Mr. Hermansen was named one of the “Heroes of the Environment” by Time Magazine, and in 2009 he was awarded the Gothenborg Award, which some call the Nobel prize for the Environment. He is a highly renowned speaker at conferences and international events, presenting on solutions for the deploymentof renewable energy and promoting the experience of Samsø as an inspiration and a model for other regional sustainability projects worldwide.