The Snowflake International Arctic Station – A hub for energy innovation and cultural exchange 21 August 2020Agreements and cooperationNorwayThe Russian FederationSustainable Development Working Group The Snowflake International Arctic Station provides a stepping-stone towards advancing carbon-free technologies in the Arctic. The new Russian year-round research station will be fully powered by renewables. It offers a platform for testing and demonstrating environmentally friendly energy solutions for remote Arctic communities and it will serve as a hub for international cooperation towards a sustainable Arctic. This ambitious plan is supported by the Sustainable Development Working Group’s project AHEAD. A glimpse of how the the Snowflake International Arctic Station will look like upon completion (Image: Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) The futuristic innovation lab will be located in the foothills of the Polar Urals on the land of the Nenets people. The sphere-like modules of the Snowflake International Arctic Station will provide all the amenities of a modern research station – laboratories, offices, spaces for teleconferences and onsite seminars – while powering its operations solely by renewable energy sources and hydrogen fuel. A unique new platform for international cooperation bringing together engineers, researchers, scientists and students from across the world to work on bold solutions that constitute a basis for life and work in the Arctic – that is the vision of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT). “The station will provide opportunities for testing, implementing and developing a wide range of technologies, including carbon free energy solutions, which we then hope to scale up in order to demonstrate their suitability for widespread use. We want to connect people and inspire them to collaborate on ambitious projects that can develop solutions for global environmental issues, including climate change”, says Yury Vasiliev, Executive Director of the Institute of Arctic Technologies at MIPT. The station provides a testing ground for phasing out high-emission energy sources in the Arctic, such as diesel fuel, by transitioning to renewable and hydrogen power. “Our main objective is to identify and develop best practices and best available technologies for a carbon-free energy supply for settlements and industrial facilities in the Arctic region. The goal is not only to build a station powered by renewable energy and hydrogen, but accelerate the introduction of new technologies in the Arctic that will be beneficial for the people living in the region”, Yury Vasiliev explains. He manages the Sustainable Development Working Group’s project AHEAD, which stands for “Arctic Hydrogen Energy Applications and Demonstrations” and is co-lead by the Russian Federation and Norway. AHEAD will follow the construction of the Snowflake International Arctic Station, scheduled to be inaugurated during the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2022, and co-organize sessions and forums around sustainable energy solutions in the Arctic.