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Energy Economics and Renewable Energy Sources

This free online course in energy economics will introduce you to the concept of carbon costs, resources and reserves.

Publisher: NPTEL
Understanding the concepts of energy economics and renewable energy sources is fundamental to our society as we grapple with climate change. This course teaches you how to calculate the cost of carbon saving, the depletion rate of energy sources and explains the difference between reserve and resource. You can acquire a sought after skill in the energy sector and augment your existing knowledge base by taking this sought after course.
Energy Economics and Renewable Energy Sources
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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The market for renewable energy technologies is growing, and there is global interest in new energy transformations. Many factors are leading to this interest, and plenty of drivers are pushing us towards this transition. In this course, discover the fundamentals of energy economics by focusing on renewable energy sources. You will begin with the basics, learning about the calculations of CO2 emissions, the cost of saved carbon and the solar energy requirement needed throughout the day. In terms of carbon savings and the cost of saved carbon, we primarily use the concept of certified emission reduction. One certified emission reduction or CER is one ton of CO2 saved. You will learn about this calculation as well, with the help of detailed illustrations and examples. The control of the release of carbon dioxide and the gradual depletion of fossil resources is posing a severe practical challenge for every country. As a result, there are increased and focused efforts to find economic access to efficient, reusable resources such as biomass, wind energy, solar energy, and fuel cells.

This course has detailed discussions on renewable sources of energy, reserves and finite resource constraints. We will introduce you to the McKelvey box, a diagram that shows the difference between resources and reserves. As one travels from resources to reserves, both geologic certainty and economic feasibility increase. You will gain knowledge of this aspect of energy economics as you learn about Hubbert's model, Multi-Hubbert model and Hubbert curve analysis. Depleting a resource occurs when the renewable and non-renewable natural resources become scarce because we consume them faster than they can recover. The term resource depletion is commonly associated with water usage, fossil fuel consumption, trees and fishing. However, all of these resources have been depleted primarily because of human activities. Other important points to learn are why the rate at which energy resources are depleted is faster than the rate with which they are replaced. You will also understand about annual fluxes of different types of energy, such as wind energy, solar energy, bioenergy and geothermal energy. Energy flux is the rate of transfer of energy through a surface.

Solar radiation or sunlight is a general term for the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. Solar radiation can be captured and turned into valuable forms of energy, such as heat and electricity, using various technologies.  Similarly, according to the European Commission, sea waves have great potential as a renewable energy source. Another source of energy under investigation is geothermal energy, which is heat derived within the sub-surface of the earth. Water and or steam carry the geothermal energy to the Earth's surface. Depending on its characteristics, geothermal energy can be used for heating and cooling purposes or be harnessed to generate clean electricity. You will learn the basics of these energy sources. In simple words, the main aim and scope of energy economics are to study the factors that lead to economic efficiency by optimising the use of energy commodities and resources. Energy economists are needed to investigate the motivating factors that contribute to changes in the supply and demand for the production, distribution, and consumption of energy resources. So, enrol for this free course right away!

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