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Despite the storm clouds gathering on the political horizon, research into alternative solutions to slow down man-made global warming is still going full steam ahead. One particularly promising avenue appears to be CO2-neutral fuels. The key now lies in finding feasible ways of manufacturing and using these kinds of energy sources efficiently for the future – particularly solar energy. What better challenge for the energy researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR)?

Besides grappling with this still rather theoretical topic, the scientists from Cologne also showcased some very concrete examples of more sustainable mobility at HANNOVER MESSE this spring in the form of their HY4 fuel-cell aircraft and an air conditioning unit for electric vehicles. "We need to find climate-friendly means of generating electricity, but also solutions for the transportation and heating sector," says Prof. Karsten Lemmer, the DLR board member in charge of energy and transportation. "We are researching alternative drives, renewable fuels and sustainable storage options in our quest to find new solutions for an efficient energy system. In the medium term, this will also enable us to make the transport sector, which accounts for almost 20 percent of CO2 emissions in Germany, more sustainable. Projects such as the HY4 fuel-cell aircraft benefit from the close collaboration between energy and transportation research at the DLR and the high level of interdisciplinary expertise that this generates."