402-0737-00L  Energy and Sustainability in the 21st Century (Part I)

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersP. Morf
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


402-0737-00 VEnergy and Sustainability in the 21st Century (Part I)2 hrs
Fri08:45-10:30HIT F 32 »
P. Morf
402-0737-00 UEnergy and Sustainability in the 21st Century (Part I)1 hrs
Fri10:45-11:30HIT F 32 »
P. Morf

Catalogue data

AbstractPart I of this course covers the topics relevant to energy in this two-semester course. The importance of energy to life and our modern culture is explored and placed in the perspective of the ongoing energy transition in the context of necessary and urgent decarbonization efforts. How much energy do we need and how can it be provided in a way that enables a sustainable existence?
ObjectiveWhy is energy important for life and our society?
How did energy use change over time? Which effects did these changes have on the environment?
What are the physical basics of energy technologies?
When, why and how did technology and science of energy come together?
What are the limits and benefits of all the various energy technologies?
How can different energy technologies be compared?
Can we understand the changes in the current energy systems?
How will the energy systems of the future look like?
How fast can we and should we enforce the current energy transition?
Which could be the overall guide lines for a working energy system of the future?
Content1. Introduction to Energy – what is it all about
2. Energy and making use of it – a short history of energy use and an overview on energy technologies
3. Coal, oil and natural gas – fossil fuels
4. Renewables I: Biomass, Hydropower, and Wind Energy – from traditional use to the modern concepts
5. Renewables II: Geothermal, Tidal power and Solar Technologies – new renewables to lead the change
6. Nuclear power, radioactivity and ultimate storage – the quest for a safe technology
7. Breeding and Nuclear Fusion – can it work at all?
8. Energy Storage – the need to increase capacity and for new technologies
9. Climate Change and Decarbonisation of the Energy Mix – how much time do we have?
10. Energy Efficiency, Buildings and Mobility – new Technologies, Rebounds and new Ways of life?
11. Energy Systems – how everything can play together
12. Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Technologies – problems and possibilities
13. Economics of Energy, Learning Curves, Technology Assessments and Innovation.
14. The Actual Energy Transition and Decarbonisation – How is your 2040, 2050?
LiteratureThe Physics of Energy, R.L. Jaffe, W. Taylor, 2018
Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation, T. Seba 2014
Energy and Civilization: A History, V. Smil, 2018
Renewable Energy – Without the Hot Air, D.J.c. Mackay 2009
Prerequisites / NoticeBasics of Physics applied to Energy and Energy Technology.
Investigation on current problems (and possible solutions)
related to the energy system and the environmental interactions.
Training of scientific and multi-disciplinary methods, approaches and their limits in the exercises and discussions.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityassessed
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits6 credits
ExaminersP. Morf
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 30 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationLanguage of examination: English or German / Prüfungssprache: Deutsch oder Englisch
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Moodle courseMoodle-Kurs / Moodle course
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

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