Danish port to be world’s first ‘fossil-fuel free’ city

Denmark’s northern port of Frederikshavn is not waiting for the rest of the world.

It has launched a green revolution to become, within seven years, the first city ever powered solely by renewable energy. Nestled between green rolling hills and the Kattegat sea facing Sweden, this former naval base home to 25,000 residents wants to be a showcase for clean energy technology and serve as a model for other cities. “We have set our goal—by 2015 to be the first city in the world to run on alternative energy,” Frederikshavn Mayor Erik Soerensen said. The goal was born out of trauma when Frederikshavn was “sucked dry a decade ago by the closure of the shipyards, which left 7,000 people jobless,” he said. “At the time we decided to fight for our survival, to find innovative solutions with companies to create new opportunities and jobs. And this project is part of our survival strategy,” he said. Wind power is expected to generate 30 percent of the city’s electricity needs. Mikael Kau, the head of the Frederikshavn Energy City project started in 2008 by the city council, concedes that it’s an “ambitious, pioneer” project that presents a “real challenge”.

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