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Energy Blog | 29. December 2010 | posted by Dorothee Bürkle | 2 Comments

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

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 Blog | 27. December 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken | 2 Comments

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

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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Energy Blog | 20. December 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

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

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

Energy Blog | 06. December 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken | 4 Comments

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

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

Energy Blog | 29. November 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Energy question of the week: How can urban areas efficiently save energy?

Germany is a country of towns and cities. Almost 90 percent of the population lives and works in urban conurbations – from Aachen to Görlitz, from Flensburg to Friedrichshafen. The need for energy is obviously highest where these people are located, and that is the key to achieving a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. However, what form should intelligent urban redevelopment take, from transport through residential accommodation to workplaces? read more

Energy Blog | 22. November 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken

Energy question of the week: What is the EU's strategy for securing energy supply for the future?

20-20-20. The European Union's energy and climate policies have revolved around these figures for years. By the year 2020, 20 percent of our energy will come from renewable sources, reducing greenhouse gases by at least 20 percent and increasing energy efficiency by 20 Percent. All 27 member states are required to achieve these objectives. But now, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, has put forward an energy strategy for the entire EU. What are the most important plans for the future of energy supplies? read more

Energy Blog | 15. November 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken | 3 Comments

Energy question of the week: Can nuclear waste be made safe?

With the decision to extend the service life of German nuclear power stations and the demonstrations against Castor waste transport, the issue of a definitive solution for storage of nuclear waste is a hot topic once again. For instance, the suitability of the salt deposits in Gorleben, Lower Saxony, is being investigated once again, and other potential storage locations in Germany are being looked into. But is there no alternative to storing nuclear waste for thousands of years underground? read more

Energy Blog | 08. November 2010 | posted by Jan Oliver Löfken | 3 Comments

Energy question of the week: Why do solar power stations also need so much water?

Solar power plants either make use of solar cells to generate electricity directly, or they use heat from concentrated sunlight to generate it indirectly. The illuminated surfaces of solar panels or mirrors must be as clean as possible so that sunlight can be used most efficiently. Water is used for cleaning, but with only 70 to 80 litres of water per 1000 kilowatt-hours of power generation, cleaning forms only the smallest use for water in solar power plants. What do these power plants need so much water for? read more