Sustainability in Antarctica

  • Learn how a model for increased precision and predictability of energy production can be developed
  • Find out about the sustainability measures in Antarctica 
  • Speak to a researcher who just came back from Antarctica

Sustainability. We hear it every day in the Netherlands, but is it also topic of discussion on the remotest, least hospitable place on Earth? Yes, if you ask the personnel and researchers at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth Base in Antarctica! The maintenance of an Antarctic station consumes enormous amounts of energy. For example, the United States Antarctic Programme spends half of its logistics budget just on transporting fuel to its stations. Hence renewable energy isn’t simply the best avenue to pursue ethically speaking, but also financially.

For my research on wind energy in extreme areas I spent over 6 weeks at the Belgian station to carry out a new type of experiment: with “Wind-Doppler LiDAR” and three “Ultra-sonic anemometers” tied on a mast, I measured wind speeds at altitudes of 300 meters. An Antarctic scoop! Paired with the data on the existing wind turbines next to the station, I am developing a model for increased precision and predictability of energy production. With this information, the station personnel can alter their energy consumption habits and better anticipate the notoriously unpredictable weather in Antarctica.

  • Mon 27 May
  • 16:00 - 17:00 (CEST)
  • Energy Academy Europe
    Nijenborgh 6
    9747 AG Groningen, NL

Brandon van Schaik

PhD researcher in renewable energy in extreme environments


This lecture is organised in collaboration with IMAKA, an association of volunteers from the University of Groningen and others.