Sustainable Energy

ENE425 Sustainable Energy

Autumn 2022

Spring 2023
  • Topics

    During the last century, human activity has reshaped the world from an economic and environmental perspective introducing challenges for sustainability. This course deals with the relation between renewable energy technology development, economic activity, and sustainability. The course is organized in two blocks that complement each other. In the first block, we study sustainable energy and development. In the second block, we connect sustainable energy and digitalization.

    I develop each of the two blocks of the course. First block: Sustainable energy and development . The sustainable energy and development block is organized in four modules.

    1. Overview .

    In this module, we will frame the objective and the content of the course. We will play a game in which the students will try to forecast the structure of the energy system (wind energy, solar energy, hydrogen, bioenergy, hydropower, smart grids, batteries, etcetera) in the next ten-fifteen years. The students will also try to guess the implications of those structural changes on sustainable development (gender and energy, cities, transport, poverty, employment).

    1. Sustainable energy .

    In this module, we study the main technological changes in the energy sector and their implications on sustainable development. We begin by studying the main energy development projects proposed by the European Union, United States, Energy Agency, IRENA, World Bank. Then, we study each of the most salient renewable energy technologies: Wind, solar, hydrogen, bioenergy, hydropower, carbon capture storage. We complement the analysis by studying the role played by batteries and smart grids in the future energy system.

    2. Footprint and human development index .

    In this module, we study the main indexes to measure human development and climate change. In 2020, the World Bank introduced a new methodology to study the relation between the Human Development Index and climate change. We study that methodology and analyse the evolution of that index in the time for different countries.

    3. Sustainable development .

    In this module, we study the implication of the technological changes in renewable energy on sustainable development. In particular, we study the impact of those changes on gender inequalities, poverty, cities and transport.

    Second block: Sustainable energy and digitalization . In this module, we connect sustainable energy and digitalization by developing an app to work out transport carbon emissions. This block consists in six modules, and I will form random groups of six student to develop the app. By implementing those modules, each group of students develops the app step by step. Each week, each group of students develop one module and at the end of the sixth week each group will have an app to work out transport carbon emissions in a web page.

    The main objective of this block is to focus on the economic part to work out transport carbon emissions. The six modules of this block will be developed by the teacher and the teaching assistant. Each group of students only must follow the indications give by us to put all the modules together. By using this procedure, each group of students will develop an app by following the same procedure used by professional developers. Each week, we organize the Monday breakfast. In that meeting each group of students has 5 minutes to present their work in the previous week and explain the work that will be developed the next week.

    At the end of the course, we organize a small conference, and the students will have the opportunity to present their app in a poster session that we will organize. That will help the students to present their work to a broader audience and give other people the opportunity to use the app developed by the students. I will develop the poster, but we will design the poster taking into account the ideas of all the groups.

    The app is developed by using Python, Flask, html and CSS, but it is not required any type of programming skills to complete that part of the course. The last year 44 students developed that application, and most of them do not have any programming skills.

  • Learning outcome

    Knowledge: At the end of the course, the students will:

    • Know the features of renewable technologies and its implications on the development of a sustainable energy system.
    • Know the impact of those new technologies has on sustainable development.
    • Know the process to develop an app to work out transport carbon emissions.

    Skills: The students will:

    • Learn to find information about new renewable technologies.
    • Learn the most advanced tools to evaluate carbon emissions, footprint and connect those measures with human development index.
    • Learn to find the best methodology to work out transport carbon emissions.

    General competence: The students will be:

    • Able to identify relevant problems related to the development of renewable production technologies.
    • Qualified to use the most suitable economic tools to study the impact of new renewable production technologies on the development of a sustainable energy system.
    • Capable to present their analysis and conclusions by using written essays and presentations.
    • Able to develop an app by working in groups and following the procedure used in consultancy companies.

  • Teaching

    Lectures, about 20.

    The teaching methodology varies depending on the block of the course. In the first block, sustainable energy and development , each lecture begins with a motivation for the topic addressed in that lecture. Then, we study the most salient topics addressed in that lecture. That part of the lectures varies depending on the topic studied during that lecture. We conclude each lecture with a set of questions that help the students to identify the key points studied in the lecture.

    I like the students participate actively during the lectures, and during each lecture I organize discussion groups, case studies and questionaries that will be analyzed and discussed in groups.

    In the second block of the course, sustainable energy and digitalization, we cover six different modules (one per week). We will start to develop the app in the third week of the course. The first three weeks, we will allocate one hour every week to help each group to complete each module during the lecture. This will help the students to gain confidence, and to develop the half of the app during the lectures. The last three modules will be completed by the students working at home. Each week, the groups of students will have 5 minutes to present the work conducted the previous week, and the plan for the incoming week.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    None.

  • Compulsory Activity

    None.

  • Assessment

    The assessment for this course consists of two parts, one for each block of the course.

    For the first block of the course, sustainable energy and development , the students will write an essay of twenty, twenty-five pages about a topic that they choose. The topics chosen by the students the last year were: Offshore wind in Norway; carbon capture storage in Norway; gender and energy; energy sustainable policies in Bergen; sustainable transport policies in Oslo. The students have freedom to choose a topic of their interest. This part of the course will be conducted in groups of around six students. The students will form the groups that they prefer, but I encourage the students to work in groups that are gender, cultural and country of origin balanced. The students will present their work in a final conference at the end of the course. The final grade for this block will be based on the essay and the final presentation in the conference. The essay and the final presentation will be evaluated by the professor and an external evaluator. This block of the course counts for the 70% of the final grade.

    For the second block of the course, sustainable energy and digitalization, the students will write an essay of five, six pages with the methodology used to work out transport carbon emissions. This part of the course will be conducted by groups of six students that will be randomly assigned. The students will present their app and the methodology to work out transport carbon emissions in a midterm conference organized when we finish the app. The final grade for this block will be based on the essay and the final presentation in the conference. The essay and the final presentation will be evaluated by the professor. This block of the course counts for the 30% of the final grade.

    Both elements have to be taken in the same semester.

  • Grading Scale

    A-F

  • Computer tools

    The app is developed by using Python, Flask, html and CSS, but it is not required any type of programming skills to complete that part of the course. The last year 44 students developed that application, and most of them do not have any programming skills.

  • Literature

    I have prepared a manual that covers all the topics studied in the course. That manual is based on all the sources that I use to prepare the lectures. Each chapter of the manual has a bibliography section. By using that bibliography, the students can find sources that could help to go further in the topics that could be of their interest.

Overview

ECTS Credits
7.5
Teaching language
English
Semester

Spring. Offered Spring 2022.

Course responsible

Assistant Professor, Mario Blázquez de Paz, Department of Business and Management Science