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Energy Within Environmental Constraints

Humanity faces an immense challenge: providing abundant energy to everyone without wrecking the planet. If we want a high-energy future while protecting the natural world for our children, we must consider the environmental consequences of energy production and use. But money matters too: energy solutions that ignore economic costs are not realistic, particularly in a world where billions of people currently can’t afford access to basic energy services. How can we proceed?

Energy Within Environmental Constraints won’t give you the answer. Instead, we will teach you how to ask the right questions and estimate the consequences of different choices.

This course isrich in details of real devices and light on theory. You won’t find any electrodynamics here, but you will find enough about modern commercial solar panels to estimate if they would be profitable to install in a given location. We emphasizes costs: the cascade of capital and operating costs from energy extraction all the way through end uses. We also emphasize quantitative comparisons and tradeoffs: how much more expensive is electricity from solar panels than from coal plants, and how much pollution does it prevent? Is solar power as cost-effective an environmental investment as nuclear power or energy efficiency? And how do we include considerations other than cost?

This course is intended for a diverse audience. Whether you are a student, an activist, a policymaker, a business owner, or a concerned citizen, this course will help you start to think carefully about our current energy system and how we can improve its environmental performance.

Photo credits:

Solar Farm CC-BY Michael Mees on flickr

Smokestack CC-BY Patrick on flickr

What you'll learn

  • The basic engineering, environmental science, and economics of our energy system.
  • Aworking understanding of energy technologies.
  • Environmental impacts of the energy system, focusing on air pollution, climate change, and land use.
  • Techniques for estimating monetary costs andcarbon impacts.

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Rating 4.7 based on 4 ratings
Length 10 weeks
Effort 3 - 5 hours per week
Starts On Demand (Start anytime)
Cost $139
From Harvard University, HarvardX via edX
Instructors David Keith, Daniel Thorpe
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Business Science Social Sciences
Tags Economics & Finance Engineering Energy & Earth Sciences Environmental Studies

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What people are saying

subject matter deeply through

I learned the subject matter deeply through the exercises.

anyone wanting to learn

I highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn about energy.

fantastic course and teacher

Fantastic course and teacher.

highly recommend this course

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A really comprehensive course, which gives an idea of the global energy status.

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Careers

An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

Adjunct Professor of Photovoltaics / Solar Electric Systems $28k

Solar Specialist Expert $43k

Inside Solar Advisor $46k

Community Solar Specialist $57k

Architecture Project Manager for ISU Solar Decathlon $59k

Trader - Panels $60k

TMP IT Analyst - Solar Turbines $65k

Solar PV Instructor $70k

Senior Solar Advisor Consultant $70k

Commercial Solar Technician $76k

Mechanical Technologist-Solar Power ( Fabrication/Welding) (Early/Mid Career) $78k

Festival Panels Producer $82k

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Rating 4.7 based on 4 ratings
Length 10 weeks
Effort 3 - 5 hours per week
Starts On Demand (Start anytime)
Cost $139
From Harvard University, HarvardX via edX
Instructors David Keith, Daniel Thorpe
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Business Science Social Sciences
Tags Economics & Finance Engineering Energy & Earth Sciences Environmental Studies

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