Energy Cultures and Transitions (ENCL)

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

This course focuses on understanding how society interacts with the politics, economics, and technologies that are driving – or preventing – an effective transition to a low carbon energy system. Energy cultures emerge from the struggles involved in the contestation around energy technologies and policies. This course seeks to understand how energy cultures are created and their influence on the environment, politics, and economics surrounding energy transitions. The course approach differs by not directly analyzing policies, but the stories and narratives that reflect policies. This approach to energy cultures emphasizes the social and environmental aspect of energy transitions from a societal view, rather than a policy maker or managerial approach.

This course engages with debates and struggles over policies that influence both the speed and types of energy technologies. By using stories, movies, and case studies paired with theories to explain energy transitions, the course delves into a range of unique cases exposing colorful events. This course will delve deep into each reading, which tells a unique story on an aspect of energy transitions.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Develop a holistic understanding of social, political and economic aspects of energy transitions 
  • Develop a greater understanding of the role energy poverty plays for consumers
  • Understand the integrated energy system as a place of contestation and cooperation between actors
  • A cross-disciplinary approach to education and how multiple perspectives join in the policy and business realm

30% - 6 quizzes (5% each) - in class

50% - 2,000 word Paper - on content of first half of course (or use grade from Energy Markets Lab)

20% - Class Participation