Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Zero-Emissions Research Station in Antarctica

Video: Belgium's new Princess Elizabeth station.

Belgium opened its new zero-emissions research station, the first of its kind, in Antarctica this week. The station has been designed for energy efficiency and is powered by wind and solar energy. Toilet and shower water can be recycled multiple times.

The station took two years to build, and will be used primarily by scientists studying climate change. Since Belgium closed its last Antarctic research station in 1967, this station will be Belgium's only Antarctic station.

Many have responded positively to the new station because of the example it sets for other Antarctic research stations as well as the rest of the world. The project director of the station noted that if such an efficient station could be built in Antarctica, with its harsh climate, certainly the technologies used to build the station could be used elsewhere.

The station is indeed a great development, both for Antarctica and for the rest of the world. Hopefully other stations will take note of the design and technologies used by Belgium to construct this eco-friendly station and retrofit their own buildings to be more energy-efficient. Since most countries transport their waste out of Antarctica, wasting less will also reduce what they have to bring back.

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