FolkeNews: February-March 2024

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Folkecenter’s iconic blue wind turbine turns 40 years

DANmark 75 kW Folkecenter

After 40 years of operation, the blades still spin without problems on the iconic blue wind turbine at Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy.

When you arrive at Thy from the south and drive over the Draget between Skibsted Fjord and Nissum Bredning, one of the first things that catches your eye is a wind turbine with a characteristic chubby, blue house, which towers over the treetops slightly diagonally to the right in the field of vision. The turbine stands at the Nordic Folkecenter for Sustainable Energy in Sønder Ydby, and here it has been turning it’s blades since February 1984.

– The tubine has reached almost three times as many operating hours as the life expectancy was when we set it up 40 years ago. The only thing that has been replaced along the way is the electronic control, so you can’t say anything other than that it is built to last, says Jane Kruse, director of the Nordic Folkecenter for Sustainable Energy.

The turbine has eight meter fiberglass blades from Danish LM Wind Power and a gearbox from Finnish Valmet. Main shaft, gear and generator are built together in a compact unit according to what is called “The Danish concept” for wind turbine design. It was born with relay control from L-M-Electric, Thisted, which has been replaced along the way with a control system from Orbital A/S in Skjern. The turbine goes directly into the Folkecentre’s installation and contributes to both electricity and heat at the centre. On Sunday the 4th of February this year, it produced 68 kwh over 10 hours at a wind speed of 9-12 m/s.

A Blacksmith’s Turbine

The blue turbine is a 75 kilowatt turbine of the DANmark 17 type, developed by Nordic Folkeenter’s founder, Preben Maegaard. The turbine was part of a series of wind turbines from the Folkecenter, which were produced by Danish blacksmiths between 1978 and 1992. In the wake of the oil crises of the 70s, the Danish blacksmiths were among the first to throw themselves into the work of developing alternatives to fossil energy sources. To build machines for harvesting renewable energies.

The blacksmiths had, among other things, need of engineering help, and for that purpose the Nordic Folkecenter for Sustainable Energy was established. Here calculations, drawings and prototypes were made, which were made freely available to the blacksmiths. In 1992, the series of blacksmith-turbines was completed with a 525 kilowatt turbine. The prototype of the last blacksmith’s wind turbine was set up at Roshage in Hanstholm in September the same year and was at that time the largest commercial wind turbine in Denmark.

A Copy in Brazil

A sister turbine to the blue Folkecenter turbine was set up on the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha as part of a Danish project in 1992 in connection with the UN’s first environmental conference, the Earth Summit, in Rio, Brazil.

Network for Green SMEs

A network for SMEs at the Nordic Folkecenter, which strengthens companies, promotes sustainable projects and contributes to the green transition.

Nordic Folkecenter has set up an SME network. In the network Folkecenter shares knowledge, but also stories of SMEs who have already found each other through Folkecenter and are now working together.

The communication has, so far, primarily taken place through an hour-long webinar, and we are in the process of evaluating the possibility of creating a technical collaboration platform, as an additional tool for the network.

The network will be responsible for:

  • Organize workshops and webinars on renewable energy and sustainability where SMEs can learn more about the latest trends and technologies.
  • Provide access to Folkecenter’s experts and guidance, which can help SMEs in the implementation of sustainable solutions in their businesses.
  • Give the oopportunity to participate in projects and collaborations with other SMEs within the network, which can lead to new business opportunities and growth.
  • Give access to resources and information on funding and financing opportunities in renewable energy that can help SMEs realize their sustainable projects.
  • Give visibility of the SMEs’ work in renewable energy through events, press coverage and social media, which can strengthen their brand and attract potential customers and business partners.

These network for green SMEs is a dynamic and innovative place, which brings together companies with a focus on green transition and sustainable development.

Through webinars, online meetings, guidance and networking opportunities, we strengthen the ability of SMEs to run sustainable projects and to create positive changes in society. With access to resources and advice on financing options, we help companies realize their visions and contribute to a more sustainable future. The network is a positive player in the green transition and helps to create value not only for the companies themselves, but also for society as a whole.

Together we can create a sustainable future. If you are interested in participating in the network, please contact: Gitte Davidsen ( or Daniele Pagani (

Updates from the MissionGreenFuels Project

Since mid-2022, Nordic Folkecenter has participated in the MissionGreenFuels partnership, which aims to contribute significantly to the climate goals for 2030 and 2050 as well as support Danish research, innovation, growth and export potential within green fuels (

The partnership consists of more than 90 partners across large industrial members, SMEs, organisations, universities and GTS  institutions (Research & Technology Organizations).

The MissionGreenFuels partnership aims to contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector. Green fuels are important for the green transition as they contribute to sustainable carbon cycles and socio-economic transparency.

Experience shows that not all biofuels are green, and it is difficult to remove new fuels from the value chain. The MissionGreenFuels partnership addresses the challenges of green fuels through a focused approach via a roadmap that ensures knowledge sharing and avoids technology lock-in.

In Pool 1, during the first 18 months of the project, Folkecenter participated in the COMON project, which focused on involving local communities in the transition to green fuels.

Gitte Davidsen og Simon Lex

The background for COMON is that, in recent years, companies and municipalities have faced considerable skepticism and widespread concern from local citizens and interest organizations regarding the establishment of technologies and infrastructures for the production of renewable energy. This skepticism and concern often results in local resistance and protracted conflicts, potentially delaying the green transition towards decarbonised societies, including the development and deployment of green fuels.

The purpose of COMON is to mitigate time-consuming and expensive conflicts between private and public organizations and local citizens and interest groups. Furthermore, the project aims to open a public dialogue in order to develop constructive cooperation across the value chain and an engaged and democratic citizenry within the green transition. (

In Pool 2, which extends throughout 2024 and 2025, Folkecenter participates in the DEEP project, which works with design of community cooperation for sustainable energy parks.

The DEEP project originates from a political ambition to design holistic energy parks in Denmark with a focus on recent years of local resistance to renewable energy systems, which increasingly prioritize biodiversity and environmental conservation – the so-called green-on-green conflicts (

The project’s goal is to develop a community-driven model for developers, investors and municipalities to design sustainable energy parks that include wind turbines, solar panels and PtX facilities. The model’s design principles will integrate local needs and suggestions from citizens and interest organisations, as well as considerations for improving biodiversity and nature conservation. Expected results and impacts include mitigating time-consuming and expensive conflicts between private organizations and citizens and interest groups, providing a platform for the design of holistic energy parks that addresses both citizens’ needs and considerations for improving local nature and biodiversity, and presenting a strategy for community collaboration with principles and processes for involvement and dialogue, examples of productive communication formats and capacity building initiatives.

PERMAGOV  Parnership Meets in Brussels

Judith van Leeuwen, PERMAGOV
Judith van Leeuwen, project coordinator of PERMAGOV

One year passed and the PERMAGOV project is well on its path of mapping relevant EU marine policies and talking to relevant parties on how can the implementation and the performances of the policies be improved.

As you could imagine, most of the collaboration is happening online, also considering the amount of partners and the topics involved. Still, it is nice to meet in person once a while and to have the chance to have an immersive discussion on the project, without any distraction from everyday life.

Therefore, as part of the project activities, we joined the yearly gathering, which this year took place in Brussels between the 14th and the 16th of February. Folkecenter was represented by Tonny Brink and Daniele Pagani.

The first and the third day were strictly related to the project: administration issues, its status and planned future activities. For what concerns the middle day, a stakeholders’ workshop was held: here, besides the members of the partnership, external people relevant to the project were invited, so that the discussion could be widen and different points of views included.

Each partner had to come with some suggestions of potential stakeholders; from Folkecenter’s side, we chose Dörte Fouquet, director of the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), with whom we have a long history of collaboration and Helle Munk Ravnborg (DIIS), who is a very active voice in the energy island case of Bornholm.

The discussions were really interesting and we are now back with a lot of inspiration, ready to undertake the following steps of the project.

You can find the summary of the stakeholder meeting here.

Project updates are also published on

POEASE – Once Again in Greece

Just couple of weeks after the PERMAGOV meeting, we also attended the POEASE project meeting, which took place in Thessaloniki (Greece) from 4th to 8th of March. Also in this case, Tonny Brink and Daniele Pagani represented Folkecenter.

The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the work done so far by the partnership and, more in concrete, the educational modules developed as part of the project tasks. Not only did we discuss on eventual changes to be done and on potential improvements: this was also a chance to get more familiar with each others’ material, as we will soon start to disseminate in our own countries.

The modules developed range from Energy in Agriculture, to Use of Medicinal Aromatic Plant, passing by a number of other, very interesting topics (Precision Agriculture and Tools for Digital Education, just to mention some).

All these modules will be combined with tips and tools for facilitating online education and they will be available to everyone for free.

Group picture - POEASE + 21th Century Coaching members
Group picture – POEASE + 21th Century Coaching members

During the project we also had the chance to visit the facilities of the American Farming School and to participate in some activities of a similar project (21st Century Coaching). Not to mention the nice social time we had with other partners, which is always helping strengthening relations, especially when collaborating online!

If you are interested in updates of the project and/or you would like to be informed when the modules are available to the public, you can mark your interest here.

Small bonus: during our stay in Thessaloniki, we also had the chance to meet with Chrysa Zioga, former trainee of Folkecenter. It was great to catch up and to see that she is progressing well with her career!

New Staff Member in Folkecenter!

We are happy to welcome back a new team member in Folkecenter! Pernille Kviesgaard Manicus joined us again after a gap period and she will help us promoting the center both nationally and internationally; she will also help us with a variety of other tasks, especially in connection with education.

Welcome back Pernille! We glad to have you with us again!

Pernille Kviesgaard Manicus

Current Trainees at Folkecenter

Côme Constantin de Chanay trainee Folkecenter

Côme Constantin de Chanay
General Engineering

Mario Amador Gonzales Trainee Folkecenter

Mario Amador Gonzales
Energy Efficiency & Solar Thermal Energy
Canary Islands (Spain)

Omar Fernando Armas Delgado Trainee Folkecenter

Omar Fernando Armas Delgado
Energy Efficiency & Solar Thermal Energy
Canary Islands (Spain)

Pablo Dario Marrero Martin Trainee Folkecenter

Pablo Dario Marrero Martin
Energy Efficiency & Solar Thermal Energy
Canary Islands (Spain)

PV Panels in Folkecenter

Sebastian’s PV System

33.9 kWh


Total energy produced in February:

33.9 kWh

Total energy produced in March:

71.8 kWh

Total energy produced in 2024:

116.6 kWh

Total energy produced from 2020:

3388 kWh+

Total CO2 saved from

3378 kg+

The system was installed in May 2020 by Sebastian Salcebo Alba

E-mobility in Folkecenter

E-mobility Folkecenter Feb-Mar 2024_EN

Total CO2 saved: 11266 Kg

Upcoming Events

Great Green Wall Folkecenter

End of May 2024 (TBC)

Webinar: The Great Green Wall: Africa’s answer to climate change problems

Join us for a webinar that will shed light on the inspiring “Great Green Wall” project in Africa. This innovative project aims to combat climate change, soil erosion, and biodiversity loss by creating a belt of forested areas across various regions of Africa.

9 International Conference on Small and Medium Wind Energy

24, 25 + 26 September 2024

9th International Conference on Small & Medium Wind Energy

The 9th edition of the Small wind conference will take place on 24-25 September 2024 and again icat will be in a blended format, both online and in presence. You can already register on
If you would like to be a speaker, please send your proposal by May 5th, 2024.
In case you are interested in sponsoring the event, please get in contact with Daniele Pagani (