A crowd of mixed ages watch on in excitement at an exhibit demonstrating a chain reaction

Powering the Future


Energy underpins our modern lives but there are difficult choices to be made 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. Keep in mind the three issues of the energy trilemma while you compare the options and make choices. What would you do?



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

  • Our illuminated Consumption Globes 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 own 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.


We’re good at harnessing raw sources of energy and transforming them into useful commodities, but how do these actions measure up and where can we make improvements?

  • 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 really happens in a nuclear chain reaction.


A lot of clever engineering is required to provide power and fuel whenever and wherever you want it. 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 discover how energy can be stored using water.


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. Are you up to the challenge?

  • 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 – but beware, the demand in each area cannot be switched off forever without consequences.


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 your 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?

Thank You

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. We couldn’t do it without you.


Stay updated

Be the first to know of special events, upcoming experiences and special offers at Glasgow Science Centre by signing up to our infrequent, engaging newsletter.

Stay updated