Energy Blog

'The Future of Energy' Year of Science: A different question every week, 1 answer and 150 comments

29.12.2010 | posted by Dorothee Bürkle

During 'The Future of Energy' Year of Science, DLR prepared one question each week on the topic of energy, answered by the science journalist, Jan Oliver Löfken. Users were invited to post their questions and comments on the blog, and we responded as they came in – we received a total of 150 contributions. Read 51 posts on our Energy Blog and see how researchers want to safeguard our energy supply in the future and what policies are being put in place for this in the world of politics. read more

Energy question of the week: Will our appetite for energy continue to increase?

27.12.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Our energy demand can be split into three main areas: electricity, heating, and fuel for mobility. In Germany, every person needs about 6000 watts of power to maintain his or her affluent, mobile way of life. Americans use almost twice that amount. Compare that with people in developing countries, like Chad, who only have 11 watts at their disposal. Is there a need for more and more energy? read more

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Spotted: strange object flying over SOFIA

23.12.2010 | posted by Henning Krause

Earlier this week I received a slightly puzzling email from my colleague Alan Brown over at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. He reported that earlier this month, on the night before SOFIA was due to start her first scientific flight, a strange cargo aircraft with a very odd propulsion system was spotted flying overhead. At that time, SOFIA's telescope system was still being tested for the flight next morning. Tom Tschida took a couple of quick shots, but when he looked back a moment later, it was gone! read more

Energy question of the week: How will energy provision change over the next few decades?

20.12.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Several studies forecast that by 2050, it will be possible for Germany to obtain a high proportion of its energy from renewable sources. DLR also has significant involvement in the expansion of wind, hydroelectric and solar power stations. But what specific changes can be anticipated here? The DLR Executive Board Member responsible for Energy and Transport research, Ulrich Wagner, provides insight into future prospects. read more

Happy Holidays! Cooperation with partners in the United States

16.12.2010 | posted by Jan Wörner

Shortly before Christmas, the DLR office in Washington DC invites our partners to attend a Holiday reception. This way, various DLR's various US aerospace sector partners are invited to take a look back at the past year in a convivial atmosphere, and also to make plans for the future. This year, the reception occurred at the end of what proved to be a fascinating business trip, one which took me right across the US and gave me the opportunity to meet many of our partners there. read more

Energy question of the week: Complete autonomy - is there a way to total energy self-sufficiency?

13.12.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Electricity costs rise every year, as do gas and oil prices. Almost all German citizens are obliged to use the services of gas and electric utility companies to keep their homes warm and supplied with power. Is there no way out of this? read more

On board the third SOFIA science flight

08.12.2010

After the first SOFIA science flight from 30 November to 1 December 2010, yesterday's third flight already had a certain feeling of routine to it. But not for me – the last time I flew with an airborne observatory (KAO, the predecessor to SOFIA) was in July 1987! On the morning of 7 December, the latest updated software packages, with the scientific objectives and the resulting flight plan, were loaded into the onboard computers and the FORCAST instrument was filled with liquid nitrogen and helium. The crew briefing at 1:45 pm briefly went over all aspects of the mission and last minute changes to the schedule, and then we embarked on the aircraft at 2:15 pm. read more

Energy question of the week: Who uses the most electricity in Germany?

06.12.2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Since 1990, the consumption of electricity in Germany has risen by about one third. Despite more efficient household appliances - for example, refrigerators, energy-saving light bulbs and computers, the VDE (Germany's trade association for the electrical, electronics and information technology sectors) envisages a further increase of almost 30 percent between now and 2025. There is a vast and currently untapped potential for savings. So, who actually accounts for the majority of electricity usage in Germany? read more