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Pro & Contra at the EXPO 2000

We were curious how the motto “Humankind, Nature, Technology” was mirrored in the World’s Exhibition (EXPO 2000) in Hannover concerning energy. We were impressed but also disappointed.


Village model. Micro hydro providing power for light and for workshops. Theme Hall: Basic Needs.

By Judit Szoleczky and Gunnar Olesen, editors

Small Vision

First of all, we looked at the Energy Theme Hall. In the pre exhibition area, an impressive 42-m long and 6-m high screen showed a film about the current energy situation on the Earth. We learned that there are massive problems associated with using fossil- and nuclear fuels. Using more solar and wind energy is unavoidable if we want to meet the energy demand of the growing world population in the 21st century. Walking upward on a long spiral ramp, we arrived to the exhibition area where we, unfortunately, experienced the domination of the traditional energy sources, heavily sponsored by the German industry. While we could go down on a simulated lift in a coal mine or in a natural gas drill, the solar and wind were only represented with a series of displays mainly from pictures sponsored by the Freiburg municipal energy company. Only a few of the many good existing examples were shown. At the end, the message was that “coal, oil, gas will still need to satisfy the main worldwide energy demands within the foreseeable future”, as it also said in the catalogue.

We had expected more visionary approach than this!

We also had expected to see more of the sustainable energy projects proposed for EXPO. (See issue no. 19 and no. 24)

Small Surprises

We found some renewable energy applications at the national exhibitions. More over, a drawing exhibition attracted our attention. It featured the best 170 drawings from the 3000 participants of a cartoon competition on “Humankind and Energy” organized by the Goethe Institute.


One of the cartoons... The drawings made us think and laugh

Drawing by Toso Borkovic, Yugoslavia


Bicycle rickshaw from Bangladesh


Improved cook stoves from Chad


Wind-power model from Namibia


PV-driven deep-well pump from Namibia

More information:
EXPO: www.expo2000.de,
Cartoons: www.energyhit.de, and see Publication List on page no. 14.