The coup at Gudenaaen


The democratic processes can be difficult to control and even lead to surprising and dramatic exits. This is was a group of farmers in Cental Region Denmark encountered in their efforts implementing biogas in the local area.

Organized in Biocenter Gudenaa they had for 2-3 years corperated with the heatingplant in Bjerringbro to set up a biogas plant to treat manure. The plant should be located on the outskirts of Bjerringbro and cover the electricity and heat consumption of the town.

The chairman was elected into the board for the coming biogas plant and there was held three public meetings where the plans were presented and extensively discussed. The organizers felt that the matter went by the book.

However, a group of concerned citizens felt, uneasy with the location of the plant and convened a public meeting. Here they decided to form a resistance organization and to seek to influence on the upcoming general assembly in Bjerringbro Heatingplant It gave rise to a lively debate in the local press and in the following three weeks 560 signatures were collected together with proxies to vote at the general assembly.

The ordinary general assembly in Bjerringbro Heatinplant became an attraction. The turnout was so large that the meeting start was delayed by an hour.

At the meeting the chairman was overthrown in the competitive election and the ny chairman submitted a proposal for adopting claiming: "The Board of Bjerringbro Varmeværk has a mandate to cooperate further with Biocenter Gudenaa for biogas plants - but only provided that the plant is placed a minimum distance of 5 km from the Bjerringbro nearest boundary "

With one stroke the basis of the project and it’s urban location disappeared .

However, Biocenter Gudenaa has not lost courage. They have received commitments on aid for project financing and is in the process of finding a new location in the neighboring municipalities.