What Can I Do?

Future Challenges - Future Solutions

Energy underpins our modern lives but we find ourselves facing difficult choices about how we will supply and use energy in the future.

Is our energy affordable, secure and environmentally sustainable? Together these issues form an ‘energy trilemma’, a seemingly impossible triangle where tackling one issue may affect the other two.

As you journey through this exhibition, you can explore our energy options – from how we can produce electricity and fuels to how we can be smarter with our use of energy. The three issues of the energy trilemma can help you compare the options and make choices.

Zones of the exhibition

Quick links: The Big Picture & You | Harness & Transform | Transmission & Storage | Manage & Control | Use & Efficiency


The Big Picture & You

The future of energy is a complex puzzle that will have far-reaching consequences - personally and globally - for the security of our energy supply, for the costs of our energy and for our environment.

  • Our illuminated Consumption Globes will help you visualise how many worlds we would need if everyone in the world consumed as many natural resources as the average person in the UK.
  • Answer a series of questions to discover the size of your ‘Energy Footprint’ and how many worlds we would need if everyone consumed energy at the same level as you.
  • Come face-to-face with the Biowall: an entire living wall system containing a range of different plant species.

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Harness & Transform

We harness raw sources of energy and transform them into useful commodities, but how do these actions measure up and where can we make improvements.

  • Learn how we can harness energy from wind and feel the force of high wind speeds in the Wind Machine
  • Create a Solar Fountain - operate GSC's solar panel and power a water fountain
  • Watch a slow motion video and experience our Nuclear Decay Model demonstration to find out what happens in a nuclear chain reaction

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Transmission & Storage

A lot of clever engineering is required to provide power and fuel whenever and wherever you want it and our energy decisions have an impact on this interconnected network.

  • Pull the cable in 'Behind the socket' to start an animation of the incredible journey electricity goes on to reach our homes
  • Using a Compressed Air Rocket, learn how energy can be stored using air.
  • Pump water between two reservoirs at different heights using a Pelton Water Wheel to show how energy can be stored using water.

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Manage & Control

Smart management and smart decisions for the future can minimise negative impacts on the security of our energy supply, on the costs of our energy and on our environment.

  • Become Energy Minister for the day in the highly visual and interactive My DECC 2050
  • Test your energy strategy out on Energy Island - place power stations in different locations on a fictional island to meet different challenges
  • In Meeting Demand, you have to manage supply and demand by switching off demand- the catch is the demand in each area cannot be switched off forever without consequences

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Use & Efficiency

Energy underpins our modern lifestyles but if we want to achieve a more sustainable energy system we must consider making changes to our behaviours and utilise new technologies to reduce demand.

  • Use hand cranks to power electric cars to race around a Scalextric track against friends and family
  • Calculate the amount of CO2 used on your journey to the Science Centre - by car, public transport, walking or cycling in How Did You Get Here Today

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Glasgow Science Centre is grateful to a number of corporate entities and public bodies for their support and guidance. We wholeheartedly thank them for the journey so far.

Powering the Future Supporters: The Scottish Government, OPITO, Scottish Enterprise, SSE, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Grid, EDF Energy, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Power Energy Network and Doosan Babcock.


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