Energy Resources and Renewable Technologies
This course focuses on renewable energies and energy efficiency. It aims to help students identify the major ‘big picture’ questions in the area of energy resources and energy technologies and then develop technically sound ways of answering them.
The course commences with a brief description of the scientific evidence for climate change, followed by an overview of the main source of carbon emissions, energy production. A look into the main indicators of energy supply and consumption in the world sets the scene for discussing different scenarios for an energy mix that could limit the predicted increase in the world’s average temperature. Such energy mix relies heavily on the deployment of renewable energy technologies: biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, tidal, wave and wind. The scientific and technical foundations of these technologies are examined in order to assess their ultimate potential as well as their practical limitations. Because of the rapid pace of change in this field the course focuses on developing students’ skills in framing questions and finding answers, as well as being able to critically evaluate those answers and support them with scientific evidence.
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