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ereksonj

ereksonj

Energy Island: How one community harnessed the wind and changed their world - Allan Drummond So I would actually refer to this kind of book as a kind of journalism, maybe reportage. The material covered in the story was not found on the most easily accessed internet material, so Drummond has a slice of current information that one would have to piece together with research even if it was available on the internet. Drummond clearly used journalistic techniques, interviewing and fact-checking with local residents of Samsø, Denmark, including teacher Søren Hermansen. The book gathers many aspects of the energy independence movement on this island around the key plot point of a single energy outage that tipped skeptical islanders toward the grant-funded project Hermansen had been pursuing for several years.

Drummond's cartoon illustrations, reminiscent of Jules Feiffer, are in corresponding relationship with the words, offering no additional narrative or counterpoint to the ideas presented. There is wide variety in the page layouts that offer graphic-novel type hooks for much of the information to hang on. Several local people are given stock-character status to ask skeptical questions, to then become converted, and then to showcase their projects. This also gave some narrative hooks to hang much information on.

I found that 100% of the island's electricity is renewable, but only 75% of its heating. This didn't make sense to me. If there's still 25% of heating coming from nonrenewable resources, why doesn't that 25% convert to electric heating?

The question of how it was all paid for is unaddressed. When I read about a school district in Iowa that installed a couple of large million-dollar wind turbines, the discussion of funding was central to the journalism. These kinds of projects tend to depend on loans, and have to be profitable in terms of net metering to pay down the loan (i.e., they need to produce more energy than the people installing it can use).