Faroe Islands: Eco-friendly buses on Sandoy island, according to Heðin Mortensen, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Labour

NordenBladet – The island of Sandoy* will be the first in the country to use eco-friendly buses that run on sustainable green energy, according to Heðin Mortensen, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Labour. Distances on the island are short and the terrain is relatively flat, making it well suited for a ‘green’ solution.

The Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Labour sees this as the first step in increasing the use of green energy solutions in public transport systems. Should the project on Sandoy prove successful, eco-friendly solutions will be expanded in accordance with the development of green energy.

The interurban bus operation that provides an integrated public transport system between villages across the country is called ‘Bygdaleiðir’. This network of buses and ferries is operated on behalf of the Faroese government by Strandfaraship Landsins. Every few years, companies can bid to win the license to run this network.

The policy of the current government includes the development of green energy. According to the Ministry Transport, Infrastructure and Labour, the project on Sandoy is a supplement to the criteria set in the licensing briefing. It is up to each bidder to decide what type of green energy their buses will use. For example, how much energy is used to drive the buses or where the energy comes from.

Heðin Mortensen says a system will be implemented that incentivises those running the public transport network to use green energy. Strandfaraskip Landsins and the winning company could, for example, make an agreement in which the company gets a larger profit share. This, however, means there must be more work put into increasing the number of passengers that use public transports between villages and towns.

* Sandoy (Danish: Sandø. English: Sand Island. Icelandic: Sandey) is the first of the five southern islands that make up the Faroe chain, the fifth biggest of all the Faroe Islands, an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark. It also refers to the region that includes this island along with Skúvoy and Stóra Dímun. As of 2011, the largest population center on the island is the village of Sandur with a population of 599. Other settlements include Skarvanes, Skopun, Skálavík, Húsavík and Dalur.

Sandoy gets its name from the large beach at Sandur, and the general sandy soil of the island. It is the only island with dunes.

There are similarly named islands, Sanday in the Orkney Islands, Sanday in the Inner Hebrides and Sandøy in Norway.

A proposal has been approved by the Faroese parliament to build a tunnel, the Sandoyartunnilin, connecting Sandoy with the more populous Streymoy to the north. Construction is not planned to be completed until 2021.

The island is considered the best island for agriculture due to its fertile sandy soil. The largest potato farm in the country is located on the island. And people who have gardening interests have generally an easier time getting plants to grow here.

On 19 August 2015 the agricultural union “Veltan” was founded for people who have an interest in gardening and farming, their aim is to improve conditions for a self-sustaining way of life, and agricultural businesses.

The island supports 6,878 sheep, not including lambs.

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Faroe IslandsHeðin MortensenSandoy island


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