About this courseSkip About this course
This course examines electricity generation from traditional sources including coal, gas and nuclear, and describes recent developments to improve efficiency and environmental performance. This includes the use of carbon capture and storage technology as a way of decarbonising electricity.This course also examines carbon intensive industries such as cement, steel making, paperand pulp manufactoring, as well as carbon intensive transportation fuels. You will be exposed to a number of the arguments for and against the use of fossil fuels. The course will help you to understand their role in the transition to a sustainable future and what the trade-offs might include.
This course is part of the Sustainable Energy MicroMasters series. You may take the course as a single course or complete all four courses in the series.
There are two enrolment options: verified enrolment and audit enrolment. We recommend that you enrol in the Audit enrolment track first. If you wish to complete the assessment tasks with the aim to achieve at least 70% in the final grade and a course certificate, you must upgrade to the Verified enrolment track and pay the Verified enrolment fee within the first five weeks from when the course opened. If you miss the Verified enrolment upgraded deadline you can continue with the course as an Audit learner and enrol as a Verified learner in the next run of the course (and complete the assessment tasks then). If you enrol as a verified learner and successfully complete all four courses you will qualify for the Sustainable Energy MicroMasters credential.
A Sustainable Energy MicroMasters credential is worthwhile in itself, but, if you wish to continue your studies, the Sustainable Energy MicroMasters credential could be used towards studying the Master of Sustainable Energy at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
Learners who choose to enrol as verified and pay the enrolment fee, will be required towrite an assignment, and achieve an overall passing grade of 70% or above in order to receive the downloadable verified certificate.
The final examination is timed and has a weight of 40%. The written paper has a weight of 50%, is submitted to Turnitin, a text-matching software, and is instructor-marked.
If you enrol in the audit track, you will have access to all the videos and other resources while the course is open, but you will not have access to the graded assessment tasks. In addition, audit participants will not be eligible to receive a course certificate upon completion of the course.
Both enrolment tracks are valuable. However, if you decide to enrol in the Verified enrolment track, please ensure you will be able to write a Masters level paper.
Plagiarism and cheating, including (i) copying and pasting text from other sources and (ii) using information from other sources without full and compliant referencing, will result in a grade of zero.
This course runs multiple times throughout the year.
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Current features of coal, gas and nuclear power generation technologies and their future development
- Basic principles and emissions intensity of oil refining and coal to liquids processes for transportation fuels
- New developments in carbon capture, transportation and storage processes
- Case study of an unconventional gas industry
- The implications of improving efficiencies in carbon intensive industrial processes.
Topic 1: Introduction to primary energy sources
This topic covers introductory thermodynamics and investigates primary energy sources and the meaning of technology readiness.
Topic 2: Electricity from coal: Technology options and developments
This topic discusses the emissions profile, current deployment level and future development of different coal based power producing technologies.
Topic 3: Electricity from gas: Technology options and developments
This topic discusses the environmental impact, current deployment level and future developments of different gas based power producing technologies.
Topic 4: Carbon capture technology: Technology options and developments
In this topic learners will explore the purpose of carbon capture and storage and also different options for carbon capture.
Topic 5: Carbon transport and storage: Technology options and developments
This topic explores the different carbon transport and storage options and includes an overview of key carbon capture and storage projects globally.
Topic 6: Transportation fuels
In this topic we present the basic processes of oil refining, emissions to the environment, current usage profile and future alternatives.
Topic 7: Industrial carbon intensive processes
This topic introduces learners to the basics of energy intensive industrial processes.
Topic 8: Power from nuclearenergy
This topic covers the basics of nuclear power generation including reactor types, fuel cycles, waste and safety.
Topic 9: Addressing complexity and deep emission reductions
Topic 10:Pathways to net zero carbon dioxide emissions in the electricy sector.
Meet your instructors
Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain $375.00
Official and Verified
Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects
Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn
Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course
Support our Mission
EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally
The content is authoritative and referenced, videos are easy to follow and comprehend and there are plenty of extra resources for further reading to whet the appetite! Thank you for creating a valuable education source to engage the broader public. It has given me a view of the energy sector I hadn't been exposed to and a greater understanding of the connections between environment/ecology, climate, politics, business, infrastructure and education. Previous student.
Who can take this course?
Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.