Polar region getting greener

The International Polar Foundation recently offered a sneak peek at its newly constructed Princess Elisabeth Station, the world’s first ever eco-friendly Antarctic research station.

Pre-constructed for an exhibit in Brussels, the zero-emission facility was shown to the general public last week. Once reconstructed at its final destination at Utsteinen Nunatak in the Dronning Maud Land of Antarctica, the $16 million Princess Elisabeth reportedly will run entirely on renewable energy.

Designed and fitted with a passive heating system, energy-efficient appliances and other sustainable technologies, the station is the first Belgian Antarctic station to be built in more than 40 years. The facility is scheduled to be fully operational in early 2009 and will help facilitate research on climate change.