Summary of Folkecenter’s Activities
With the year close to an end, it is time to have an evaluation how has been 2022 for Folkecenter: busy, but also very rewarding!
The year started well, as from 2022 Folkecenter is again on the Danish State Budget, for a period of three years. This money allowed us to take care of some of the things we were not able to do in 2021, because of the limited budget and, most important, it allowed us to hire new skilled employees. The fresh workforce gave us the possibility to carry out more activities and to apply for more projects, so that we can both increase Folkecenter’s impact on the society and secure a more stable income for the years to come.
We could use hours telling about all what happened during this year, but given the limited space, we will focus on what we think were the most important achievements.
Collaboration with SMEs
There have been a number of small companies and potential inventors who reached us out this year, but the strongest collaborations we had were with TWE Tandem Wind Energy and with Wave2Power. The first is a German small wind turbine developer who is testing its prototype with us; we have worked together since couple of years and the collaboration continued throughout 2022, both for what concerns technical developments (we performed a blade load test on the 21st of December!) and business aspects, with one of our trainees performing a market analysis for the company.
The second SME is a startup focusing on wave energy: also here, the support of our trainees has been essential, as they were part of both the development and the testing processes.
Development of Folkecenter
Thanks to the Green Safari project we added some very interesting parts to our exhibition, so that going around Folkecenter is now much more pleasant for children. Besides that, we have continued the construction of the tiny house and, thanks to the support of Victron Energy, with an off-grid electricity supply. Big changes happened also in the straw-bale house, which is now powered by a new set of batteries and which has been converted into a smart house, again, thanks to the support of Victron Energy.
As every year, trainees have been a very important part of our activities; this year we have had 23 trainees from 12 different countries who, besides working on their projects, supported us in further developing Folkecenter, by taking part in the tiny house and straw-bale house upgrades and by helping us in supporting SMEs.
As usual, we have been also active in the international small wind energy community, by taking part in meetings about standardization (IEA Task 41, S-588 + TC88) and by organizing the 7th International Conference on Small and Medium Wind Energy, which is now a “must” appointment for the small wind community. This year, 116 people from 36 countries registered to the event, proving the importance of our work in this topic.
For what concerns international trips, we had the chance to go to Tanzania and Uganda, where we had a project meeting from the EASE-CA project. It was a really nice experience and it gave us the chance to be closer to our partners, with whom we have mostly collaborated online.
Finally, we attended COP27, even if only digitally. During the conference we had an exhibit, where we showcased our work and we participated in an official side event, together with other international partners.
Education has always been a pillar for Folkecenter and so it was this year as well: on the practical side we have managed to train more than 100 students in wind energy, by teaching them how to build blades out of wood. The participants were both from Turkey and the Netherlands.
On top of that, we also had some students from Croatia, who joined us for a training program on renewable energies and stayed with us for two weeks. We are happy to keep on training young people, who will represent the future of renewables.
On the more theoretical side, we have developed a number of articles to inform people more about renewable energy, energy efficiency and how to save energy. The articles can be found below:
- Folkecenter has saved 5000 kg CO2 by Driving Electric!
- Electrify your car travel: 8,000 kilometer electric car travel
- Nordic Folkecenter’s take on micro and mini wind turbines
- Energy savings in everyday life part 1: Check your electricity price
- Energy savings in everyday life part 2: Check the temperature
- Energy savings in everyday life part 3: Tips and tricks in the kitchen
- Have you checked in with your electricity supplier today?
- Recycling of wind turbine blades
- Energifællesskaber kan øge robustheden i vores energisystem
Locally, we have also organized couple of events on energy communities and on building awareness about smart management of electricity.
Last but not least, in 2022 our director, Jane Kruse, was nominated for the Roger Léron Award for a lifetime of personal work for energy conservation. Sadly she did not get the prize, but at least she had the chance to network with other important people of the sector.
We are now preparing for 2023: we have a number of projects in the pipeline and we are also preparing a book to tell about Folkecenter’s 40 year of activities, which we will also celebrate with a conference next year (21-23 June 2023). Of course, you are all invited! And don’t forget to check our Youtube channel! There is a lot going on there!
That’s it for 2022! We would like to thank you for following us and for supporting our work! To all, a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!