Course Syllabus

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Photo: GE Reports

Carlos Garcia Robles (Carlos.Robles@dis.dk)

Shannon Schooley - Program Assistant (sks@dis.dk)

Classroom N7-A20

Instructor:

Carlos Garcia-Robles

Cand.techn.soc. (Technological & Socio-Economic Planning, Roskilde University, 2009). B.A. (International Relations, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2004). Represented Mexican NGOs during WSSD process, 2002. Member of the Energy and Climate Group, Project coordinator for Friends of the Earth Denmark for COP15 process. With DIS since 2011.

Course description:

Renewable Energy Systems with a planning perspective

This course is recommended for students interested on socio-technological interactions and how a renewable energy system can be planned integrating the technical, social, environmental, and economic perspectives. It is not necessary to have a technical background, as it is a planning course not an engineering course.  

Current environmental issues, climate change, global social injustice, and the impacts of these on ecosystems and societies have led us to radically rethink our current energy systems. It is necessary for us to understand how humanity became so dependent upon fossil fuels, and it is even more important for us to understand what other alternative energies exist.

The current energy system based on fossil fuels is one on the most impacting human activity on the climate,  the urgency to change it to a renewable energy system is overdue.  A radical change in how we think about energy and energy planning is one of the steps needed towards designing an energy system for the 21st century that could take socio-ecological systems into a safe environmental space.

This class will focus on the Danish and Northern European energy experience by exploring different renewable energy technologies (wind, solar, biofuel, etc.) and the strengths and weaknesses of different policy options, the role of governments, civil society participation and business.

This class will examine the technical, economic, and political aspects of renewable energy, and students will learn about the successes and failures of implementing alternative energies at the local, national, and regional levels. It will also examine the planning process of renewable energy, integrating systems thinking with an interdisciplinary approach, taking into consideration that fifty percent of this course will focus on the technology through a planning lens rather than a pure engineering or technical perspective.

Format:

The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, specific assignments, group work and discussions. Field studies, and a study tour will also be incorporated and are important parts of the learning process. This session incorporates a one-week study tour to Germany containing a mixture of academic and cultural visits and activities.


The course elements are:

  • Lectures, including students’ preparation and contribution to discussion of the readings and faculty’s input
  • Assignments related to supply, market and negation games
  • Field studies and guest speakers
  • Study tour to Germany

 

Assignments and grading elements (you will receive written instructions in class regarding individual assignment details):

  • Assignment 1: Students topic presentation in class 20%
  • Assignment 2: Study tour report 20%
  • Assignment 3: Changing the Game paper 20%
  • Assignment 4: Final project presentation 20%
  • Class and study tour participation: 20%

 

Assignment guides will be provided.

 

OBS. All written assignments e-docs sent must have the following name: Student first name.students last name.assignment number, references if necessary.

 

Primary Texts:

 

  • Boyle, Godfrey (2012 edition) Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future. Oxford. to be picked up from the library during arrivals week

  • Lund, Henrik (2010): Renewable Energy Systems: The Choice and Modeling of 100% Renewable Solutions. Elsevier. to be picked up from the library during arrivals week

  • Scheer, Hermann. 2nd edition (2005). A Solar Manifesto. Routledge.,

  • Lovins, Amory: Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era. (available on Canvas)

 

  • All readings that are not found in the main textbook are on Canvas!

 

Participation includes the following criteria:

  • Attendance
  • Active participation in class and study tour discussions
  • Preparation for each class
  • Reading all assigned texts
  • Preparing all assignments for class
  • Reflection on reading
  • Active participation in field studies and study tour visits

 

Attendance: You are expected to attend all DIS classes when scheduled.  If you miss two classes, the Director of Teaching and Learning, and the Director of Student Affairs will be notified; they will follow-up with you to make sure that all is well.  Absences will jeopardize your grade and your standing at DIS.  Allowances will be made in cases of illness, but you will need to provide a doctor’s note.

Deadline policy:

Assignments and papers handed in after the deadline are not accepted and will be graded as failed. If you’re ill (and can provide a valid doctor’s note) or have good reasons for not being able to meet a deadline, make sure to consult the instructor.

Confidentiality:

Due to the nature of some of our visits throughout the semester, you may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement with regards to privacy of some Cleantech knowledge.  In the event that a company requires you to keep information confidential, please be advised that information regarded as confidential will not be allowed to be posted on DIS forum, made available on the internet, or distributed to 3rd parties.

Laptop computer policy: While most students find that taking notes by hand in class is quite sufficient for review purposes, you are allowed to use a computer in class for writing lecture/discussion notes. However, you are asked not to use computers in class to write e-mails, connect to social media, or conduct other such activities as this is quite disrespectful and distracting for me and other students.  Failure to show this courtesy will result in a reduction of your class participation grade.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism and Violating the Rules of an Assignment
DIS expects that students abide by the highest standards of intellectual honesty in all academic work. DIS assumes that all students do their own work and credit all work or thought taken from others.   Academic dishonesty will result in a final course grade of “F” and can result in dismissal and notification of the students’ home universities. DIS reserves the right to request that written student assignments be submitted in electronic form for submission to plagiarism detection software.  See the Academic Handbook for more information, or ask your instructor if you have questions.

Disability resources: Any student who has a need for disability accommodations should contact the Office of Academic Support (acadsupp@dis.dk) to coordinate this. Upon DIS approval, students should inform the instructor of accommodations within the first 2 weeks of class.

 

Course Summary:

Date Details