[Editor’s Note: Beginning today Green Tech Chatter is called Green Tech Talk.]
Oil companies have long looked to the Arctic as a potential reserve of fossil fuels, and Shell Oil was recently granted permission to drill four wells in the Beaufort Sea, despite protestations by environmentalist groups, who say that cleaning up a spill in the Arctic Ocean would be just about impossible. The debate has been raging for years about the North and South Pole areas being sources of untapped energy, but the energy is question is usually oil. Besides being a fossil fuel whose use emits greenhouse gases that cause environmental and health problems, drilling for oil is traumatic for the landscape and wildlife. And there’s always the possibility of a devastating spill.
But what if these regions have other ways of providing energy for the planet? The Arctic and Antarctic circles, during their summers, get constant sunlight, which would make them ideal for solar farms. Organizations like the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are conducting environmental research in these unforgiving climates, and may come up with a way to use the polar regions for safe, clean and renewable energy. We dug around a little to learn about some cleantech progress being made in the North and South Poles.
- Industrial Fuels and Power and Renewable Energy Focus both have the scoop on experimental solar power in Antarctica.
- Euronews talks about a Belgian zero-emissions base, also in Antarctica.
- Alaska Dispatch discusses the future of energy in Iceland.
- The Huffington Post reports on a tiny Alaska town that’s using biomass to cut down their reliance on expensive and polluting diesel.
- Northern News Services discusses a new office of the Arctic Energy Alliance in Fort Simpson in Canada’s Northwest Territories, providing energy efficiency tips to homeowners.
- If you’re an Alaska resident, check out Renewable Energy Alaska Project‘s website for information and resources on renewable energy in your state.