Green Energy is increasingly becoming a key issue, so also in the Faroe Islands, a small country consisting of 18 tiny islands in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. The aim of the islands: providing an entire nation with 100% Green Energy as early as 2030! From September 27-28, 2016, the 100by2030 Renewable Energy Summit takes place in the capital city Tórshavn. 2 days in breathtaking surroundings to experience how a 100% green energy future is not only feasible – it is also achievable.
Organizer of the summit is SEV, the Faroese National energy provider which is owned by all the municipalities in the Faroe Islands, and therefore by all the Faroese people.
We talked to Hákun Djurhuus, CEO of SEV about his work and green energy on the islands
1. Can you please tell me something about yourself? What is your job at SEV? How long have you worked for the company?
My name is Hákun Djurhuus, I am 54 years old and have been working for SEV as CEO since the beginning of 2008. In 1997 to 2007 I was General Manager of the Shell downstream oil business on the Faroe Islands. I am educated as a civil engineer from the Danish Technical University in 1986.
2. How important is Green Energy in the Faroe Islands?
It is very important. Actually, the Faroese energy system is highly fragile since more than 90 % of the energy supply is based on fossil fuel. This position is not sustainable for a society – both in economics and carbon emissions terms.
3. Last year SEV won the Nature and Environment Prize from the Nordic Council. Can you please tell me what this is about? Why did you win the prize?
In October 2015, SEV received the Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize 2015 for its continued innovation and development that already have carried the Islands forward on the green path. We were one out of 11 nominated for the price.
The Adjudication Committee stated:
“The prize goes to the Faroese electricity company SEV for its ambitious targets and innovative initiatives toward the green electrification of the Faroese electric grid. SEV’s work is not only important for the phasing in of renewable energy in the Faroe Islands, but also for the European grid as a whole. Its ambitious goals and its creative efforts to reduce dependency on fossil fuels make SEV a worthy recipient of the Nordic Council Nature and Environment Prize 2015.”
At the close of 2015, SEV concluded yet another good and green year. Of SEV’s total electricity production, 60% was derived from water and wind; the oil-fired thermal power plants thus accounted for 40%. The last time SEV produced 60% of its power from renewable energy resources was in 1973, when hydropower supplied most of the total electricity production, which at the time was four times less than today.
4. What are SEV’s goals in the next years?
SEV’s goal is to become carbon emission free in the electricity production by 2030. Our vision is that by 2030 all energy supplied on shore on the Faroe Islands is by carbon emission free electricity. In figures this means, that we move from a split of 60 % renewables and 40 % oil based power production at a level of 314 GWh in 2015 to a 100 % renewable power production on level of approx. 600 GWh in 2030. The electrification of the Faroese society – i.e. energy for transport and the heating of households and buildings – is included in the 600 GWh in 2030.
5. As part of SEV, do you attend any international industry events? Are you part of any international associations?
Yes we do. Several of our people are abroad more than once a year meeting suppliers one to one and by attending events. This is a part of having an innovation culture in the company. We are an associated member of Danish Energy Association, this way we also have relations to Eurelectric.
SEV’s green agenda and its latest breakthroughs in wind energy, coupled with SEV’s 2030 goal of 100% green electricity production in the Faroe Islands, have also awakened international interest. Faroe Islands is fast becoming an attractive test-bed for wind power and cutting-edge electricity technology.
We see ourselves as a live laboratory, where new and innovative solutions could be developed and tested in a small but full-scale environment.
6. How does attending an international event help you in your job?
We are getting updated, inspired and motivated.
Thank you very much for answering our questions!