Accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future

Accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future –individual and collective action to increase the uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy is a course and set of teaching resources developed by the Australian Research Institute for Environment and Sustainability (ARIES) for the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). 


  • Accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future ( Visit

Intended Audience and Usage

The purpose in developing these materials is to encourage more widespread teaching on the topics of energy efficiency and renewable energy within new and existing courses in both the vocational education and training (VET) and university sectors.

The materials have been structured to support teachers/lecturers in developing and delivering a complete course and/or incorporating content on energy efficiency and renewable energy into existing courses. The materials have been developed with consideration of the Education for Sustainability principles outlined in Living Sustainably – The Australian Government’s National Action Plan for Education for Sustainability (2009). A key principle of Education for Sustainability is to ‘equip people with the skills, capacity and motivation to plan and manage change towards sustainability within anorganisation, industry or community’. The emphasis on change is distinct from Education about Sustainability which tends to have a stronger focus on technical issues only.

The materials are presented in the form of a complete course that may be adapted for delivery as either VET or university courses. The intention has been to provide a balance between the development of practical skills and the broader knowledge and awareness that students need to influence others towards greater awareness and action on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The course and aspects of it may be appropriate for both technical and non-technical audiences due to the focus on action and change.

Some of the activities may appear to be unusual within formal educational settings. They have been included to demonstrate ways of increasing the level of engagement and action on the part of students to actively contribute towards the achievement of a sustainable energy future.

Assessment activities have not been explicitly suggested due to the varying contexts within which this course may be taught. However, a number of the activities suggested could be developed as assessment tasks.

Each of the 13 sessions has been structured as a three-hour face-to-face delivery session. As you review the course materials you may find that additional time is required. You may also find that you can spend more time on some topics than others – depending upon the particular needs of your course.


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