We use the following technologies in our emission reduction projects
Geothermal energy refers to the heat energy generated and stored within the earth, which can be used for heating as well as electricity generation by various technologies. It is considered to be a renewable source of energy because the heat extracted is negligible compared with the total heat content of the earth's interior, thus providing a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels as demonstrated by South Pole projects.
Hydropower is the generation of electricity from the flow of water on turbine blades connected to an electrical generator. Run-of-the-river hydropower plant eliminates most rehabilitation and resettlement issues since normal course of the river is not materially altered and little or no water storage is provided, thus eliminating the requirement of construction of large dams. South Pole has many such projects, which harnesses the natural energy of water to power the development of remote areas in a sustainable manner.
Biogas is produced by the breakdown of organic matter (like green plants, animal manure, food waste, municipal waste, sewage, agriculture waste, slaughterhouse waste, etc.) in the absence of oxygen. This methane-rich combustible gas can be used for a variety of purposes, like thermal and electrical energy generation, also for households/communities. Many South Pole projects have demonstrated the use of this renewable energy source to replace natural gas, LPG and fossil fuels in a sustainable manner.
Wind energy is generated from natural airflow using wind turbines to produce mechanical or electrical energy. Our projects at South Pole have wind turbines deployed in wind farms that generate renewable energy for the benefit of the project stakeholders – local communities involved as well as the project region as a whole, mostly in under-developed remote and/or rural areas.
Water purification technologies like filtration, solar disinfection, photo-catalytic disinfection, pasteurization, chemical disinfection, etc. reduce the use of fossil fuels and non-renewable biomass for boiling water to purify it. Such projects in South Pole's portfolio have demonstrated that these not only provide cheap access to safe drinking water and health benefits of reducing water-borne diseases, but also various other socio-economic co-benefits to impoverished communities.
Surplus biomass harvested at sustainable rates from various sources (broadly plant material and animal waste) is renewable since it can re-grow over a relatively short period of time compared to the hundreds of millions of years taken for fossil fuels to form. It can be used for sustainable energy in combustion or gasification technologies for producing heat as well as electricity to replace fossil fuels, in addition to various socio-economic co-benefits to rural communities, as demonstrated by various South Pole projects
Small hydro is the development of hydropower as a distributed power source with capacities ranging between 1 to 20 MW to serve a small community or facility or area/region. These require minimal civil construction work, have low environmental impact compared to large hydro and harnesses the renewable energy of water to supply electricity in remote under-developed areas in a sustainable manner in order to eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels, as established by various South Pole projects.
Wastewater treatment projects treat the organic component of waste generated from various facilities (like sewage, industrial, agricultural, leachate, etc.) by using advanced enclosed digesters where treated clean water and additionally biogas can be generated. Such projects help in the reduction of bad odour in the surrounding areas as well as prevent contamination of surrounding rivers and other sources of clean water, as demonstrated by several South Pole projects.
Improved (or “Clean") cookstoves are efficient in fuel combustion and heat transfer when compared to traditional stoves being used in developing countries, thus reducing non-renewable woody biomass consumption. These projects in South Pole's portfolio not only help in reducing deforestation, but also offer several sustainable development co-benefits to impoverished communities, like reduction in smoke and indoor air pollution, lower efforts and expenditures, reduced health hazards and diseases, etc.
South Pole has several projects engaging in sustainable forest management, which reduce emissions and/or increase removals of GHGs. These include various initiatives like restoration of degraded lands, conservation of forest ecosystems, savanna burning, conservation of natural vegetation, dedicated plantations, agroforestry, native forest protection, avoided deforestation, forest regeneration, etc.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems are arrangement of several components, including solar panels consisting of cells to absorb and convert sunlight into usable electricity and heat respectively. South Pole has projects harnessing this renewable source of energy with high sustainability benefits, establishing these as the preferred choice for decentralized electricity systems serving community-development objectives.
Landfill gas to energy
As solid waste decomposes in landfills, landfill gas is released which consists of approximately 50% methane, 42% carbon dioxide, 7% nitrogen and 1% oxygen compounds. This combustible gas could be used for producing thermal energy, as well as electricity generation in gas engines. Our projects use landfill gas as a readily available, local and renewable energy source that offsets the need for non-renewable resources such as oil, coal and gas.
Smart heating is an energy efficient option for heating systems of buildings consuming significant quantities of energy, particularly in temperate and cold climate. South Pole's projects deploy intelligent heating control systems in residential homes to increase comfort and reduce energy consumption at the same time owing to reduced idling times by predicting presence and weather conditions.