The use of solar in the Arctic and Antarctic reduces pollution and reliance on diesel brought in by air.
Reducing carbon and energy costs, ease of maintenance and installation, and reducing the human impact on wildlife are all good reasons why installing solar in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions would be a massive benefit for the communities there and worldwide.
The Future is Solar
Solar energy production has become one of the world’s most promising and critical renewable sources. The sun, the largest energy source in our solar system, is an obvious candidate for humanity to harness.
Despite the promise of solar energy production, it has been slow to implement over the past decade due to high initial costs for installation. However, as the price for the panels has declined, the benefit has outweighed the installation cost. This is notable for several reasons.
One is that renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly important for remote communities, as the price of fossil fuel imports becomes more expensive as the price of gas increases. It’s also important because solar panels are easier to install, efficient, and maintain than other renewable energy sources.
Two areas of our planet that have been neglected regarding energy are our polar regions, with mass amounts of diesel being imported each year to fuel generators. However, what’s becoming more apparent is that the polar regions of our world could be prime candidates for solar power installations.
Not as Crazy as it May Seem
Installing Solar in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions might seem ludicrous, considering the regions’ frigid temperatures. However, the amount of energy solar panels capture has nothing to do with heat. The cold temperatures are part of why installations of solar in the Arctic and Antarctic would be much more efficient, as the environment acts as a cooling mechanism for the technology stationed there.
Another reason polar solar generation would be something to consider is the incredibly long days. As the regions are at the top and bottom of the world, when the earth tilts on its axis, these regions experience sunlight day and night. However, the converse also happens during winter with nearly no sunlight, meaning it would only be viable for half the year.
That said, the environmental impact of the installation of solar in the Arctic and Antarctic is negligible, as no forests need to be cut down to accommodate them, nor is any grassland disturbed. No leakage of fossil fuels occurs either, given the nature of the technology itself.
There is also precedent for solar in the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. For example, the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI research station is powered entirely by a combination of wind and solar energy. Researchers in the field often use portable solar panels as well. The Neumayer III research station and the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica station also rely on solar panels.
See also: Space-Based Solar Power Works!
Polar Solar Provides Challenges
While there is precedent and ample reason why solar in the Arctic and Antarctic could be useful, there is no doubt that the transportation, manufacture, and installation of solar farms would be difficult.
As the regions are some of the most deadly areas on our planet, they need to be built to withstand the intense wind and snowfall that occurs each year. These panels would also need to be manufactured in plants far from the regions, meaning that oceangoing vessels would be relied on to transport them to their final destination.
However, these solar panels would be a godsend for remote communities in northern polar regions. Removing the necessity of purchasing diesel would immensely benefit the wallets of those living there.
With the maintenance and installation being relatively inexpensive and easy, it’s not a stretch to imagine the northern and southern polar areas of our world becoming green in no time.