Science Year 2010 – The Future of Energy


Securing a sustainable energy supply that is safe, efficient and environmentally compatible will be a central issue for people in the coming decades. The Science Year 2010 focused on the key topic of "The Future of Energy".

Together with the Science in Dialogue (WiD) initiative and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) wanted to give people an opportunity to experience the importance of research as a basis for our future energy supply.

Objectives and topics of the Science Year 2010
The numerous join-in activities, a Research Exchange, and the ideas competitions that were offered during the Science Year 2010 were mainly designed for children and young people to arouse their interest in challenging energy issues and possible solutions. "Driven by curiosity" was the motto of the Science Year 2010. Curiosity means a researcher's motivation to discover something new and develop solutions for tomorrow's energy supply. Researchers are driven by their curiosity, which empowers them to achieve results.

Attention focused on researchers from many different disciplines who are working on promising research projects and whose findings are of substantial importance in political decision-making. They are studying clean and efficient ways of using the available resources of energy, including storage, management and transport, in a joint, interdisciplinary approach at national and international level. Their interdisciplinary cooperation also covers non-technological issues such as the acceptance of new technologies by the general public.

The Year of Science 2010 had four thematic focuses:

Better protection for our climate and environment
How can we use fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas – more cleanly and more responsibly?

Energy efficiency
Intelligent use of energy resources is one of the keys to reducing global energy consumption.

Renewable energies
How can we make better and more cost-effective use of solar, wind and water power, and of geothermal energy and biomass?

International cooperation
International cooperation must focus on securing a clean and sufficient supply of energy for all people in keeping with our climate objectives.

Ambassadors and highlights of the Science Year 2010
Representatives of science, industry, politics and society were contributing their personal and research experience as ambassadors of the Science Year 2010. During the Science Year 2010, they presented their work, which covers the variety of disciplines involved in energy research. They were available to the media for interviews and special contributions. They represented the Science Year 2010 at events, and in debates they gave advice on controversial issues such as nuclear energy and explain the different views and impacts.

Numerous events, workshops and competitions enabled children and young people to take a look at energy issues and research projects. The Day of Energy and the Research Exchange were central elements of the Science Year. The Research Exchange enabled school classes to meet with energy researchers and experts. For the first time, school children and teachers could inform themselves online about the work and careers of experts and researchers and arrange a joint meeting at the school or institute. On the Day of Energy on 25 September 2010, research institutions, universities and companies throughout Germany opened their doors to the general public and invited visitors to gain exciting insights into the field of energy research.

The website of the Wissenschaftsjahr Energie (Science Year 2010) offers information in German about various aspects of the topic of energy. The interactive E-Zoom header gives access to the world of energy research with an entertaining presentation of topics ranging from the atom to the universe. Under the heading Energie zum Mitmachen, you will find do-it-yourself experiments, for example concerning the practical use of solar energy. Schools can find the Research Exchange and a large supply of free teaching materials under Energie und Schulen.