• Length:
    14 Weeks
  • Effort:
    10–12 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $199 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Advanced
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

  • Ability to perform simple mathematical operations.
  • Advanced English language skills.

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, paper and 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.  If you enrol as a verified learner and successfully complete all four courses and the Capstone Assessment 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, will be required to write an assignment, and achieve an overall passing grade of 70% or above in order to receive the downloadable verified certificate.

This course runs multiple times throughout the year.

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 nuclear energy
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

Geoff Bongers
Adjunct Professor
The University of Queensland
Martin Oettinger
Deputy Director
Australian Coal Association Low Emissions Technologies Limited (ACALET)
Diego Schmeda
Chemical Engineer
Queensland

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Learner testimonials

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.