Good Practice Project
Bornholm is one of two “energy islands” identified by the Danish government in its new bet to make Denmark one of the biggest producers of offshore windmills by creating two energy hubs, one in the Baltic and the other in the North Sea. In the last four years, the Port of Rønne, implemented a number of investments to rebuild the port´s facilities to meet wind energy opportunities.
The Bornholm FLAG recognised that renewable energy offered an extraordinary economic opportunity for the local community, and that local cooperation is the best way to achieve the necessary change. It supported the launch of Offshore Center Bornholm (OCB), a network of local businesses and facilities offering services to companies and workers in the offshore wind sector, from the island’s airport to hostels for seasonal workers’ and professionals such as steel workers and electricians. The project aimed to increase the visibility of these professionals so that they could take advantage of the vessels and workers passing near the island.
The FLAG has supported various activities to increase the network’s visibility: it financed visits to international fairs, the creation of the official website and the development of an app, OCB-Connect, for advertising the businesses that are members of the partnership. It also financed a study visit for the members of the network to the Port of Esbjerg on Denmark’s west coast, the biggest business port in the country specialised in windfarms. Esbjerg started 40 years ago to change its economy from one based largely on industrial fishing to a more R&D based economy focused on wind energy.
The network is now consolidated in the area. The number of members has increased from the initial 14 to 17. It has a website, adapted over the years to meet industry’s changing needs. A full-time job has been created, exclusively dedicated to communication and dissemination. Moreover, an app has been developed that the 60 000 vessels passing the island every year can use to identify the different professionals they may need, such as carpenters, electricians and hospitality and transport workers.
This project supports the goals of the Bornholm FLAG, which included renewable energies at the heart of its local development strategy (LDS), as one of the area’s biggest potentials. In 10 years, the area has gone from being 80% dependent on imported energy to being 80% self-sufficient – thanks to the exploitation of renewable resources such as wind, solar and wood pellets. This proves how necessary is to know the resources available in the area and be ambitious when designing the LDS.
FLAGs can make a real difference by bringing together their area’s different stakeholders and linking different sectors to work towards a common goal. Building networks of businesses can help areas to create a geographical brand and combine their forces to take advantage of new economic sectors. For this, it is important not only to improve existing resources, but to think how to build what is desirable in the future.
Lessons: In times when fishing stalled in this local community, this project has demonstrated that many of the area’s smaller port-related service industries have been able to adapt to servicing the offshore industry. The collaboration between the companies has helped to mutually open many new doors and create positive synergies.
Contribution to CLLD objective: (c) enhancing and capitalising on the environmental assets of the fisheries and aquaculture areas, including operations to mitigate climate change.
|Total project cost||€43 000|
|Timeframe of implementation||From Jan 2017 to Apr 2020|
|Type of area|