Gallery: Zero-Emission Research Station in Antarctica


If there is one place on our planet that can be said to be relatively free from human impact, that would probably be the Antarctic continent. With this in mind, the government of Belgium commissioned the International Polar Foundation to design and operate a new research station, the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica. The goal? To make it the first zero-emission station in the world.

The Princess Elisabeth Antarctica station is designed with the environment in mind. It will be built using eco-friendly materials, as well as to minimize energy consumption and waste. Furthermore, it will operate completely on renewable energies. The station will be located in a small ridge near the Utsteinen nunatak and a few kilometers from the Sør Rondane mountain range. The team will install eight wind turbines on the ridge, as well as approximately 380 square meters of solar panels on and nearby the station.

Because using renewable energy is just one side of the equation, the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica will use only 20% of the energy used by a comparable station. Heating will be done via a mixture of passive and active systems, including a heat recovery system that will take all the heat generated by the equipment and redistribute it around the base.

Virtually everyone living in Antarctica is conscious of the impact that they have just by virtue of being there. Indeed, Nunatak, one of the bands that played at the Live Earth concert a few months ago, is composed of research scientists working on the continent. To see major players in Antarctica commit to the continent’s environment is truly wonderful. The station will become operational next year.

+ Princess Elisabeth Antarctica


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  1. Stazione scientifica po... November 27, 2007 at 2:17 pm

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  2. chelsea November 23, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Thanks so much for posting on this! I am currently at McMurdo Station, Antarctica- one of the American research stations. I have been bemoaning the fact that we are so fossil-fuel dependent here! Every year ten million gallons of fuel is delivered to us via ship. It really makes sense to have efficient, sustainable systems in place down here- less dependancy on outside sources!

  3. chris van laethem November 22, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    i stopped being a belgian football fan.
    no worries,
    i can still shout out loud:
    go belgium go.

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  7. Peter Parry November 22, 2007 at 10:15 am

    It is good to hear that people are taking the environment seriously. The building pictured above looks great and should serve as a good example of what we are capable of. The use of wind power is a good idea, it works day or night. We need more wind power turbines in suitable places to help ease the dependence on coal.
    Good article, lets see more buildings use similar ideas in reducing carbon emissions. Thanks.

  8. Stijn November 22, 2007 at 10:14 am

    I was beginning to wonder when our little project might pop up on the international radar. But knowing Belgian politics, I wonder if the project will survive until the next administration.

  9. Mahesh Basantani November 22, 2007 at 8:17 am

    This is a truly remarkable step! Without being harm to the Antartica environment the research station would help enhance the research activities being conducted in the region.

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