Russian Arctic National Park has switched to green energy
The Russian Arctic National Park has switched to alternative energy with the beginning of the polar day. During the summer season, the facilities located in the national park will operate on solar energy.
The Russian Arctic is the most northern and the first largest specially protected natural area of Russia. The park is located on two archipelagos beyond the Arctic Circle, which are Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land.
There are no permanent residents in the Russian Arctic, but there are six bases on the territory of the national park, three of which, where its employees work and live, have switched to green energy. This idea appeared almost immediately after the establishment of the protected area in 2011, and now alternative energy sources are successfully used along with traditional ones, such as gasoline and diesel fuel.
Speaking about the consern of the Russian Arctic to switch to alternative energy sources, the Deputy Director for its development emphasized, first of all, the environmental focus of the protected area, its mission to protect the environment. Secondly, he noted significant fuel saving in connection with the transition to the green energy.
However, from the economic point of view, the transition does not yet justify itself, because it is more profitable to buy fuel and generators. But as the northern territories are difficult to access and it is not always possible to deliver the necessary supplies, this will be an economy of already existing reserves.
“It is always better to have several energy sources. If the fuel runs out, the generator breaks or the solar panel controller burns, we still will be able to get energy," said Roman Perhurov.
Speaking about whether the transition to solar power is possible everywhere, not only in national parks, the expert noted that this can happen if the final cost of such power generation won’t be much more expensive than the usage of traditional sources.
“It’s much cheaper to get electricity from a socket in the urban environment, because in this case the cost will be substantially lower. Besides, durable, high-quality systems are expensive. Plus, alternative energy still has a dependence on the environment: energy is no longer produced without sun or at night", - added he.