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Delft University of Technology: Inclusive Energy Systems - Exploring Sustainable Energy for All

Explore the impact of social and technological changes on the future provision of clean and affordable energy services. Learn how to navigate towards an inclusive energy system for all world citizens, while satisfying greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

6 weeks
3–4 hours per week
Progress at your own speed

About this course

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The provision of sustainable energy services for all world citizens is a daunting challenge. Issues of energy poverty and energy injustice are encountered in all societies.

This course will focus on how can we can tackle those challenges and accomplish an Inclusive Energy System, in which energy services are recognized as a social right for every citizen. We will use a socio-technical systems approach to the energy system. By examining the system from various value perspectives we will discover new solutions for the inclusive provision of energy services beyond the purely technological solutions.

Our starting points for this course are the four A’s. These represent the main values of the energy system: Accessibility, Availability, Affordability, and Acceptability of energy services. Balancing these four critical and interdependent values is a recurrent challenge for every society, as the meaning of the four A’s evolves with economic development and changing societal preferences.

In this course you will be introduced to the challenges created by the evolution of the energy system and the values we expect it to uphold. How can we measure the four A’s? What are the trade-offs? How does the governance of the energy system impact those trade-offs? And how does it impact the nexus between water, food and energy? How can the institutional framework (e.g. laws, regulation, market design) be tweaked or redesigned to ensure a more inclusive energy system, aligned with principles of distributive and procedural justice?

Case studies from developed and developing countries will help you to develop and test your analytical skills. Interviews with industry leaders shaping the energy system will help you reflect on the position these leaders take and the interests they serve.

Lastly, you will put yourself to the test by demonstrating your newly acquired knowledge and skills by taking the role of a strategic policy advisor. You will be challenged to advise the strategic decision makers of your company, your city or your country on the policy interventions they should pursue to bring a more inclusive energy system into being.

After completing this course you will be able to engage in a richer, more informed debate about how to achieve an inclusive energy system. As an engineering professional, you will be able to translate this knowledge into strategies to serve society’s future energy needs.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Economic Development, Greenhouse Gas, Systems Thinking, Balancing (Ledger/Billing), Governance, Debating, Procedural Justice, Renewable Energy, Analytical Skills

What you'll learn

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  1. Identify key institutional characteristics of universal access to energy services;
  2. See energy services in an ethical perspective and reflect on trade-offs between access, availability, affordability and acceptability;
  3. Understand the Water-Energy-Food security nexus;
  4. Analyze the security of supply and reliability of energy services in various energy systems and the related short-term versus long-term considerations;
  5. Evaluate the consequences of change(s) in the energy system for its social impacts on various user groups;
  6. Evaluate the social and environmental acceptability of energy services provision in different economic and socio-cultural contexts.

More about this course

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The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.

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