This course is provided by Chalmers University of Technology through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 6 weeks, starting on 25 May 2015

Course Objective

Daily headlines warn of new chemical dangers, species on the edge of extinction, global warming-- framing our planet as “at risk.”

Some people stop listening, others get alarmed, while some others want to learn more in hopes of making a difference in the world.  In this course, you will learn how to make more informed choices about your ecological footprint and gain a better understanding of how your choices impact on our world.

This course is organized into five key themes: chemicals, globalization, climate change, food and energy. These five themes represent challenges that people face day-to-day managing choices relating to sustainability.

In this course, you will learn to:

  • Appreciate the complexity of sustainable development and understand how it relates to everyday life.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on the information flow from the public media
  • Develop cognitive and decision-making skills that can be applied to issues and problems in everyday life.
  • How to discuss these topics appropriately, and encourage others to make informed decisions regarding sustainable living.

In the final task of this course, you will demonstrate how you have acquired the skills and knowledge to organize your everyday life sustainably. 

This is an online course provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison through Coursera for FREE.

Duration: June 21 to July 18, 2015

Course Objective

Energy consumption and its consequences have spurred some of the most important public debates of our time. We are presently confronted by an unprecedented paradox:  the negative consequences of fossil fuel combustion have never been clearer, but oil and gas extraction are experiencing a technological revolution.  How long will fossil fuel supplies last? What are the long-term implications of fracking and other technologies that extend their use? At what point will renewable energy systems replace fossil fuels altogether?  Such questions have a direct impact on our health, wealth, and security, but reliable answers are scarce.

In this class we will develop a unique, “big picture” perspective on these issues, based on the concept that all energy systems, fossil and renewable, depend on finite geologic resources of the Earth.  Armed with this perspective, energy consumers, producers, and policy makers can make more informed choices for the future.  This course will emphasize three universal principles:

Energy quality matters more than quantity,

Technological advances continually redefine reality, and

All energy systems carry their own negative consequences.

We will explore energy options ranging from solar to nuclear, revealing how the above principles apply to each.

This online course is provided by the  International Monetary Fund (IMF) through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 2 weeks, starts on 01 October 2014

Course Objective

Energy subsidies are an issue in practically every country in the world. Pre-tax subsidies, which arise when energy consumers pay less than the supply cost of energy, are high in many emerging and developing economies, and have risen in recent years. Although pre-tax subsidies are not a large enough problem in advanced economies to cause fiscal difficulties, these countries have tax subsidies, where the taxes imposed on energy are not high enough to account for all of the adverse effects of excessive energy consumption, including on the environment. The issue of energy subsidy reform is not new. Despite widespread recognition of their adverse consequences, energy subsidies have proven difficult to reform.

This course builds on an extensive cross-country analysis, which is reported in the recently published IMF book on “Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications,” to make recommendations on how to best implement reforms aimed at reducing state subsidies on energy.

In the first part of the course, economists from the IMF will introduce the definition and measurement of subsidies, and then describe the economic, social, and environmental implications of subsidies. The second part of the course has two principal purposes: first, to review what works best in energy subsidy reform, in light of country experiences globally; and second, to illustrate successes and failures in particular country contexts by summarizing some case studies.

Whether you are a civil servant working on economic issues for your country or simply interested in better understanding issues related to energy subsidies, this course will provide hands-on training on the design of successful reforms of energy subsidies.

You are welcome to join us in this exciting two-week course!

Energy Subsidy Reform is offered by the IMF with financial support from the Government of Belgium.

This online course is provided by University of Texas at Austin through eDx for FREE.

Duration: Course has ended but course archive available at eDx. 

Course Objective

This multidisciplinary course will give students an overview of energy technologies, fuels, environmental impacts and public policies. Topics will be interdisciplinary and will include an introduction to quantitative concepts in energy, including the differences among fuels and energy technologies, energy policy levers, and the societal aspects of energy, such as culture, economics, war, and international affairs. This course will cover brief snippets of energy history, use real-world examples, and look forward into the future. The course will have interactive learning modules and lecture-oriented around current events related to energy.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs.

This online course is provided by Georgia Institute of Technology through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 9 weeks, course has ended but course archive available at Coursera

Course Objective

Energy 101 focuses on the big energy picture giving perspective and context to the details one reads in the daily onslaught of energy news in the headlines. As the number 101 indicates, there are no pre-requisites and no particular training or background needed. The course will review the driving forces of energy used in transportation, building heating and cooling, electrical loads and manufacturing. The current facts and trends of the resulting demands placed on coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, solar and wind used to meet these energy demands are then covered. The technologies and characteristics of different energy processes and infrastructure used to convert the renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy into the desired form necessary to accomplish a given task are then described. Economics is always a part of the discussion. The natural laws of thermodynamics limiting these processes are described, as well as future technologies and their potential.

This online course is provided by University of Florida through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 15 weeks, course has ended but course archive available at Coursera

Course Objective

This general education course will cover concepts of work and energy and their relationship with our modern society. Each aspect of this relationship with energy will be analyzed including consumptive patterns for the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors of our economy. Geological sources for fossil fuels will be examined as will the differences between reserves and production. Energy capacities and limitations for new sources of renewable energies will also be examined. All of these topics will be examined within a national and international context.

This course is provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology through MIT Open Course Ware for FREE. 

Duration: Anytime, unlimited. This course has ended but course archive is available at MITOCW.

Course Objective

This class assesses current and potential future energy systems, covering resources, extraction, conversion, and end-use technologies, with emphasis on meeting regional and global energy needs in the 21st century in a sustainable manner. Instructors and guest lecturers will examine various renewable and conventional energy production technologies, energy end-use practices and alternatives, and consumption practices in different countries. Students will learn a quantitative framework to aid in evaluation and analysis of energy technology system proposals in the context of engineering, political, social, economic, and environmental goals. Students taking the graduate version, Sustainable Energy, complete additional assignments.


This is an online course provided by Rice University through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 4 weeks, starts in April 2015

Course Objective

Sustainability, defined by Rice’s Energy and Environment Institute (EEi), is energy security, affordability, and environmental responsibility as the three required foundational pillars.    

We will explore and understand the fundamental principles of energy sustainability from the perspective of the techno/economic framework and maturity of the market in the geography of interest.  Global impact and the effects of global commerce will drive investment and the hierarchy of the three fundamentals.  With an emphasis on the oil and gas sector, petrochemicals, and power industry, thought leaders will discuss these principles with participants in the context of real-world industry examples and share their personal insights on best practices and future trends.

The four-week course will examine three fundamentals of energy sustainability and their application in today’s dynamic industry landscape in oil and gas (upstream, midstream, downstream), petrochemicals (upstream and downstream), power and energy trading:

  1. Available and secure supply of energy.  A portfolio of options and interconnections of supply and demand for long-term access and systems analysis of best available options.
  2. Affordable and competitive cost of energy.  An analysis of economic competitiveness and investment options for not only generation but a systems analysis of total cost impact.
  3. Environmental responsibility in the production and consumption of energy.  An analysis of technical options and the optimizing of local and international policy and regulations.

Through guest presentations and interviews with business executives and thought leaders, case studies, cutting-edge research and interactive learning experiences, participants will build the relevant knowledge and capabilities to effectively deliver consulting and support services effectively to specific clients and enterprises in the market.  Assessment will include methods such as quizzes, written reflections, individual/team projects, etc.

This course is provided by UNIDO for a FEE.

Duration: 18-26 November 2014

Course Objective

The course “Sustainable Energy Solutions” is organized jointly by UNIDO and the International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE) in Ljubljana. It aims to address some of the key issues pertaining to sustainable energy by raising awareness amongst a group of selected participants conveying an in-depth understanding of energy policy, technology and financing as planning tools for developing sustainable energy systems.

The 9 day course offers a dynamic mix of lecture-based and participatory teaching methods supported by guided excursions to green enterprises and research centers. It is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with current and expected trends in sustainable energy solutions and provide participants with an opportunity to reflect on practical, innovative and cost effective ways to address sustainability problems within the energy industry and systems.