Folkecenter Attended the Citizens’ Meetings Arranged by the Sydthy Energy Association

Borgermøder Sydthy Energiforening

By Trine Sund Kammersgaard

In week 46, the newly established Energy Association Sydthy held citizen meetings in Vestervig, Bedsted and Hurup (DK). Nordic Folkecenter participated in all three meetings. At the meeting in Hurup, Jane Kruse (Folkecenter’s director) had the opportunity to present thermal heating as an option for smaller urban communities outside the district heating network.

The purpose of the newly started association is to organize the citizens of Sydthy (The 3 postcodes: 7755 Bedsted Thy, 7760 Hurup Thy and 7770 Vestervig), so that the association’s members have as much to say as possible in the planning of energy plants in the area.

The board leader, Lisbeth Bang Nielsen, welcomed the meetings. After this, there was a speech from Jens-Philip Petersen from Thisted municipality, who told about the municipality’s plan to ensure local support for the energy projects implemented in the municipality. In this connection, the municipality has given the citizens a kind of veto right to ensure that only projects that can achieve broad public support are carried out. Afterwards, Bjørn Holmgaard from Vores Energi talked about the experience with jointly owned energy plants and energy associations elsewhere in the country, including Ærø and Hvidesande.

The purpose of the Sydthy Energy Association is also to ensure that a significant part of the ownership of the renewable energy plants must be placed in a locally owned commercial fund. The fund’s profits must be used for the development of the local area, so that the profits benefit as many citizens as possible in the local area.

From the Nordic Folkecenter’s side, we look forward to following the further work closely, and contributing with our experiences. For us, it is important to keep an eye on the households that are outside the district heating network, and ensure the necessary support, so that they too can become part of the green transition. For example, through subsidies for replacing oil boilers with heat pumps and the possibility of sharing household wind turbines between neighbours.