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Islands: Energy, Economy and Community; Impact Investing and Energy and Technology comprise the three course series informally referred to as the Samso ‘monster’ course at COA. This course series is focused on developing initiatives in the renewable energy and finance sectors on MDI and Maine Islands and is being offered in conjunction with the Island Institute CIERA initiative and the Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark. This will be a comprehensive, intensive, interdisciplinary course. Students and community members from Maine’s Islands will learn from the Samsø Island experience of transforming to a carbon negative island through a community driven, grass-roots approach to create investment opportunities for both individuals and businesses in enterprises that developed and scaled, efficiency upgrades, wind, and solar power production and biofuel distributed heating and other elements of a renewable energy portfolio.

 

Three weeks of the term will be spent at Samsø’s Energy Academy learning the community process, investment and engineering strategies that the small rural farming and tourist community used to transform themselves into an independent energy community and rejuvenate their local economy. The course will push students to identify opportunities within their communities and develop significant energy related ventures accordingly. COA students and island resident participants will use this knowledge to develop plans for adapting and creating appropriate technology, investment platforms or services to reduce energy consumption and to boost renewable energy production here in Maine.