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Arctic town is helping the design wind and solar devices that operate in extreme conditions

People in Qaanaaq, the northernmost town in Greenland, are seeking ways to transition from using fossil fuels that are threatening their way of life. That means designing technology that can work in places where the Sun might not shine for months and temperatures stay below freezing for most of the year. Their aim is to cut their reliance on diesel that is delivered twice a year by icebreaker, as making electricity from fossil fuels is expensive. In the United States, for example, it costs about 14 cents per kilowatt hour, on average. But in northern parts of Alaska, that price jumps to between 50 cents and US$1 per kilowatt hour. And residents in Qaanaaq spend a considerable amount on fuel; sub-zero temperatures mean houses must be heated nearly continuously. Complicating the situation is that many of Qaanaaq’s houses are Danish-style — some of them dating back to 1953 — and these are not efficient at holding in heat. One of the prototypes being tested generates heat directly from wind. Click to know more in this article from Nature.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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