Hydropower is often the first thing that is associated with renewable energy in Greenland – and with good reason. Nevertheless, the country is home to many initiatives and efforts at a smaller scale that are also worth taking note of. While the Centre for Arctic Technology works on developing solar and wind energy in settlements, the Government is investigating the possibility of introducing electric vehicles in Nuuk – all with the aim of making good use of Greenland’s opportunities for renewable energy.
The Centre for Arctic Technology – ARTEK – in Sisimiut works to develop sustainable technology in Greenland. The centre, affiliated with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), has initiated a number of research and development projects and works to investigate potentials for solar and wind energy as well as sustainable engineering. Conditions for making productive use of the sun’s energy are good in Greenland and dedicated efforts have been made to expand solar heating technology. The centre has been involved in the installation of solar heating panels on a folk high school and in the construction of a low energy house, both in Sisimiut. In Uummannaq and in the settlement Sarfannguaq, the potential for solar, wind and hydropower-based energy is being explored. The project is supported by the Government’s Fund for Renewable Energy and Climate and holds the potential to further expand the use of renewable energy and reduce the part of Greenland’s emissions linked to energy supply.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Nuuk has good conditions for EVs. With easy access to surplus energy production from the city’s hydropower plant and a limited road infrastructure, the barriers that are often associated with the spread of EVs are easily overcome in Nuuk. The report, Electric Vehicles as a Real Alternative in Nuuk, released in 2013 gives an overview of the challenges related to introducing EVs to the city and provides an insight into how these can be dealt with. EVs in Nuuk would be 100% CO2-neutral and further help to reduce particle emissions in the town and bring down the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. Despite the EV’s advantages compared with traditional diesel vehicles, there are still practical challenges that need to be solved, before the EV will become a common sight in Nuuk. With the publication of the report, the first step towards a more climate-friendly transport infrastructure in Greenland has been taken.