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Learn sustainable energy with online courses and programs

Contribute to the transition towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy future while innovating existing energy sources. Learn more about renewable energy with edX today.

What is sustainable energy?

Sustainable energy, also known as renewable energy, refers to the generation and utilization of energy from sources that are naturally replenished and have minimal environmental impact. Examples include energy derived from moving water (hydropower), wind power, heat of the Earth (geothermal energy), and the sun (solar energy). 

Energy derived from the burning of coal, oil, or uranium is not considered renewable because they are finite resources. Coal, for example, while naturally occurring, took hundreds of millions of years to form and therefore is not considered renewable on a human timescale.

Sustainable energy is an important part of the global efforts to combat climate change, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and promote clean energy sources.

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Sustainable energy course curriculum

Studying sustainable energy equips learners with the knowledge and skills to drive innovation, develop renewable energy technologies, and contribute to the transition towards a more sustainable and resilient energy system.

An introductory course in sustainable energy could teach learners concepts such as:

  • Critically evaluating key features, opportunities, and challenges associated with modern energy technologies.

  • Understanding how factors shape global decarbonization.

  • Using systems-level tools and skills to analyze the technological, economic, and socio-political dimensions of real-word energy projects.

  • Building consensus among involved stakeholders to achieve sustainability goals.

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the sustainable energy field with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. Busy professionals can even take advantage of executive education courses tailored to those in leadership and management positions. Find the right course for you.

Explore sustainable energy jobs

Renewable energy expertise can lead to diverse career opportunities in industries that prioritize sustainability, energy management, and environmental stewardship. Some examples include:

  • Renewable energy engineer: Designs, develops, and optimizes renewable energy systems such as solar power, wind turbines, or geothermal systems.

  • Sustainability consultant: Advises organizations on adopting sustainable practices, implementing renewable energy solutions, and achieving energy efficiency.

  • Energy analyst: Conducts energy audits, analyzes energy consumption patterns, and proposes strategies for energy optimization and renewable energy integration.

  • Policy analyst: Evaluates and develops policies and regulations to promote renewable energy adoption, energy efficiency, and sustainability at local, national, or international levels.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in environmental science, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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