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Nobel Laureate Prof. Carlo Rubbia presents his views on the “Future of Energy” at the Hubert Curien Memorial Lecture 2014

The Cyprus Institute organized the “2014 Hubert Curien Memorial Lecture” as part of CyI’s celebrations for Prof. Herwig Schopper’s 90th birthday. This years’ lecture entitled ‘The Future of Energy’ was presented by the internationally known Prof. Carlo Rubbia – Nobel Prize in Physics, Scientific Director of IASS Potsdam, and Former Director of CERN. The lecture examined the challenges facing our current energy systems in the context of global warming. Prof. Rubbia presented an innovative approach to sustainability studies as well as research activities illustrating the climate change mitigation potential of a “methane-based” society, relying on low-carbon innovative technologies such as methane cracking and the recovering of CO2 for the production of methanol.

Through a broad analysis, Prof. Rubbia stressed below issues:

  • The need of stability of the climate
  • The existence and limits of an “Anthropogenic Era”, a new phenomenon, coined by Eugene Stoermer and popularized by the Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen
  • Geo-engineering methods eliminating the global warming
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
  • Stratospheric Sulphur cooling
  • The future role and the practical limits of Renewable Energies
  • Some innovative methods to curb energy related emissions
  • Superconducting electricity transmission from distant (renewable) energy sources
  • Natural Gas from unconventional new sources
  • Energy from Natural Gas but without CO2 emissions
  • Fossil Methanol as a new liquid carrier for transportation


The conclusions derived from Prof. Rubbia’s scientific view is that a coherent energy policy is required, strategic choices have to be made, relaying on innovative scientific and technological developments, in order to restore sustainable development and economic growth with the threat of facing global warming. Our society will depend crucially on uninterrupted and differentiated energy supply. Major steps have to be taken in order to avoid potential geo-political and price vulnerability. The human capital of the most educated society is a decisive factor for the establishment of norms of social conduct. We must recognize the duty to society in terms of long term actions rather than of immediate interests. Only through such a concentrated and coordinated effort, leadership can be targeted and the objectives of creating high quality employment opportunities and a better quality of life be met.

Carlo Rubbia is an Italian particle physicist and inventor who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1984 for work leading to the discovery of the W and Z particles at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research). He is currently the Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany. He served as Director General of CERN and held the Higgins Professorship of Physics at Harvard University. He also served as President of Sincrotrone Trieste, as President of ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment and as a member of the high-level Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, set up by the EU. Professor Rubbia is a member of numerous academies and holds 33 honorary degrees. He is the author of more than 500 scientific papers and has received numerous honors, amongst which, the Italian "Cavaliere di Gran Croce", the French "Officier de la Legion d'Honneur" and the Polish Order of Merit. In August 2013 he was appointed Senator for life of the Italian Republic.

The ceremony was addressed by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Works Mr. Marios Demetriades, and by the Chairman of the CyI Executive Committee, Dr. Andreas Pittas. Among the guests were the Former President of the Republic of Cyprus Dr. George Vassiliou, Prof. Edouard Brezin, Chair, Board of Trustees, CREF, Prof. Herwig Schopper,  Former Director General of CERN and Honorary Trustee of The Cyprus Institute Board of Trustees, Prof. Albrecht Wagner, Former Chairman of the Board and Former Director General, DESY, Prof. Emmanuel Tsesmelis, Senior Physicist, Director General Unit, CERN, Prof. Khaled Toukan , Director, SESAME, Prof. Luciano Maiani Former Director General, CERN, other members of the CyI’s Board of Trustees, and many distinguished personalities from the scientific and the business world.

Opening Addresses:

Dr. Andreas Pittas - Chair of The Cyprus Institute Board of Trustees

Mr. Marios Demetriades - Minister of Communications and Works

Prof. Carlo Rubbia Talk:

Prof. Carlo Rubbia - Future of Energy


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