Alternative Energy Sources in Physical Environmental and Economical Perspectives

ENE425 Alternative Energy Sources in Physical Environmental and Economical Perspectives

  • Topics


    The course covers the physical principles of energy transformation processes on Earth and in power plants, including nuclear chemical and biological processes. The functioning and limitations of existing and future energy technologies are reviewed with "economic characteristics" of both fossil, nuclear and alternative energy production. Status and potential of renewable energy is discussed in a global perspective.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    The course provide an overview of the present global energy situation including challenges related to a growing population. Each energy source and potential future energy sources are discussed in a physical, environmental and economic perspective.


    After the course, students should:

    • Understand the different energy transformation principles in nature and the power concept.
    • Understand the processes that control the climate on Earth and how humans interact with it.
    • Know the sources of energy available, potential cost and limitations of each energy resource.
    • Understand the economic characteristics of power plants based on alternative and conventional energy forms.


    After the course, students should:

    • Be able to use basic formulas and devices to make their own calculations and assessments on energy resources.
    • Be able to calculate the current costs of each technology and make prediction on future costs based on various scenarios.

  • Teaching


    Lectures, exercises, assignments.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    Two group assignments, one presentation and one written report, has to be approved. 

  • Assessment


    4 hours written school exam.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Semester



  • Literature


    Narbel et al, "Energy Technologies and Economics", Springer 2014, 978-3-319-08225-7

    Recommended reading: David McKay, "Sustainable energy without hot air". The book is available for free at:


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Course responsible

Researcher Sturla Kvamsdal, Department of Busniess and Management Science/SNF