Which energy source will we use in the future? Energy questions for ‘Energy’ Science Year 2010
Can we refuel in the future simply using the Sun? How long will the Earth’s oil reserves last? Which energy source will our grandchildren use? Many people are asking scientific researchers about the future of our energy supply. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung; BMBF) has chosen the slogan ‘The Future of Energy’ for Science Year 2010. In the DLR Energy Blog, science journalist Jan Oliver Löfken will answer a question about energy each week during the year.
Do you have questions about how our energy supply might look in the future? Or do you want to know, for example, how a wave power station works and can efficiently produce electricity? Then you send your questions to us by email. Science journalist Jan Oliver Löfken will research the answers and publish them each week in this blog.
BMBF Science Year 'The Future of Energy'
Since the oil crises in the 1970s there has been much discussion about energy and energy security. In addition, we know that the use of fossil fuels emits the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributes to climate warming. When energy prices reached a temporary high point in the middle of 2008, it once more became clear that our whole society is dependent on the supply of energy and its affordability. The world economic crisis brought relief from rising energy prices. However, this is only short term, according to energy experts.
A secure and climate-friendly supply of energy is, both today and in the future, of outstanding importance. The BMBF and the ‘Wissenschaft im Dialog’ (Science in Dialog) initiative, Germany’s centre of expertise for science communication, have chosen the slogan 'The Future of Energy' for Science Year 2010. At numerous meetings and exhibitions, scientists and research institutes are being informed about ‘The Future of Energy’. According to BMBF, energy researchers will play an important role in the search for sustainable solutions. Only if many different scientists cooperate can productive solutions be developed.
Science Year at DLR
DLR scientists have been conducting interdisciplinary research into energy issues for over 30 years. They are working on improvements to fuel cells and have developed a world first – an aircraft that can take off using a fuel cell. They are working to improve conventional power stations, for which they optimise the combustion process, and research new, substantially more efficient power station designs than have been possible to date. They have world-renowned expertise in the testing of mirrors for solar power plants and, in large international studies, have shown that renewable energy can, if the correct course is followed, secure our energy supplies.
DLR will also participate in 'Energy' Science Year beyond this blog. We will be at the 'Summer of Science 2010' in Magdeburg, where one of the DLR_School_Labs will be available. In addition, a model of a solar-tower power station will travel on the MS-Science, an exhibition ship that will tour Germany’s waterways from May 2010 and visit many cities.