Russian pair sets off on energy adventure

Maria Khromova will learn about energy through travelWhile young people around the world often take off for backpacking adventures in their early 20s, most of them aren’t as focused as a pair of Russian students who departed on the sponsored Energy of Adventure tour this week.

Maria Khromova, 24, and Egor Goloshov, 21, are on a backpacker-style tour of the world to talk with energy leaders in different countries around the globe about their energy challenges and innovations like solar adoption.

They begin their tour in Germany, which has more installed solar energy generation capacity than any other country in the world. Despite Germany’s gloomy weather and northern geographic position, the country has successfully used solar as a preferred alternative to fossil fuel energy generation. The country has also pledged to decommission all of its nuclear power plants and replace them with solar and other renewable energy sources.

They are also scheduled to visit China, France, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, and South Korea in the first weeks of their trip.

Global Energy, a Russian nonprofit that awards scholarships and grants for work in the energy sector to scientists around the globe, is sponsoring the tour.

The two students will use social media, including Facebook, twitter and blogs to tell the world in English about what they learn from the numerous countries they will visit.

Both Khromova and Goloshov are fluent in English and German. It was one of the requirements for the prize.

The two were selected as the winners from 49,000 young Russian applicants because of their outgoing personalities and past work and studies in the energy sector.

“Maria and Egor are looking forward to their journey in the whole and are impatient to see the world of energy in all its diversity,” spokeswoman Alena Georgobiani writes in an email.

The International Energy Agency in Paris estimates that global oil demand will increase from 89 million barrels a day in 2011 to 99 million by 20135.

Khromova and Goloshov will talk to leaders about how they are preparing to meet that demand or head it off.

“They will report about their findings, discussions, and observations over the course of their tour in hopes of inspiring and triggering new thinking and ideas for addressing today's interconnected energy challenges,” according to a release about the journey.

The trip is expected to take three months. And the two will visit Australia, Brazil, Denmark, India, Japan, Spain, Tanzania, the UAE, and the US over the course of their tour before finishing the trip back in Moscow.