2019 Our Sustainable Energy Future: Role of Business and Technology

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Ota Eri  Murakami Rie  Ling Frank Hiroshi 
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Intensive ()  
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Course description and aims

Fossil fuels from coal, oil, and gas make up over 85% of the world’s energy supply. However, this is not sustainable as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and pollutants associated with the use of these fuels cause our planet to become hotter and hurt our well-beings. While the transition to a sustainable, clean energy is already underway, to move away fully from fossil fuels, trillions of dollars in investments is needed to drive the development of new innovations and their deployment around the world. Both public and business efforts will be needed to enable the technologies needed to meet these global goals. The transition to a sustainable energy future is an opportunity to meet multiple goals in economic growth, human development, jobs, energy security, clean air and water, and environmental protection. In this course, the students will acquire an understanding of energy technologies, policies, and responses to the climate challenges.

Student learning outcomes

In this course, Students will be able to understand the following;
(1) Impacts and opportunities of diverse energy systems in the context of their national, regional, sectoral, and cultural contexts.
(2) How energy choices affect outcomes in solving climate change, as well as addressing priorities in security, pollution, and economic competitiveness.
(3) Solutions that reduce and remove GHGs, and actions that enable adaptability to the changing climate.


energy, fossil fuels, electricity, pollution, Paris Agreement,

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Each class covers three topics related to energy based on learning with background materials. There will be Q and A session after each lecture. The group will then conduct problem solving and discussion session after learning three topics.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 9/30 (Mon)10:45-14:50 Introduction to the global energy system and opportunities for a low carbon economy Introduction to climate change and energy Renewable energy and efficiency 1. Summary of 3 topics learnt and questions 2. 1-2 discussion topic ideas
Class 2 10/3 (Thu)10:45-14:50 Nuclear energy Carbon capture, storage, utilization Smart agriculture and sustainable food production 1. Summary of 3 topics learnt and questions 2. 1-2 discussion topic ideas 3. Answer 10 questions
Class 3 10/7 (Mon)10:45-14:50 Accelerating technological innovations Social Innovations Co-benefits 1. Summary of 3 topics learnt and questions 2. 1-2 discussion topic ideas
Class 4 10/10 (Thu)10:45-14:50 Climate adaptation and disaster resilience International frameworks and national policies to facilitate global decarbonization The Way Forward 1. Summary of 3 topics learnt and questions 2. 1-2 discussion topic ideas 3. Prepare for final presentation


Woods Hole Institute Primer on Climate Change (https://whrc.org/publications-data/understanding-climate-change-a-primer/); Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air by David McKay (https://www.withouthotair.com)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Will be provided accordingly

Assessment criteria and methods

Participation: 40%
10 questions: 30%
Final Presentation 30%

Related courses

  • None

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Algebra, Unit Conversion


Course Schedule: 9/30 (Mon, 10/3 (Thu),10/7 (Mon), 10/10 (Thu)
Course Hours: 10:45-14:50  for each day
Class Room: S517

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