Exploring green energy sources for Antactica

antarctica penguins

Renewable energy is one of the many interesting areas of research in current times. Amongst many others, New Zealand researchers too have been investigating ways to decrease fossil fuel use and reduce energy costs. They are putting in efforts to do this through renewable energy generation at Scott Base.

Antarctica is one of the areas which is most susceptible to environmental change, yet ironically , electricity at New Zealand’s Scott Base is produced by two fossil-fuel powered generators, using 380 000 litres of aviation fuel annually.

This use of fossil fuels is adding to global warming and the British Antarctic Survey show that 87 per cent of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years. A high proportion of Antarctica’s limited ice-free land is currently used for research stations, making these fragile ecosystems particularly vulnerable.

There is now a lot of focus on utilization of wind energy for Antarctic. Staff and students at the University of Canterbury have highlighted the need to reduce electricity demand at times of lower wind power supply in order to make the most efficient use of the resource. This would mean for example, doing the laundry at times of high wind energy production, whereas essentials like heating would always be backed up by fossil fuel generators.



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