• Offered by Research School of Engineering
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Engineering
  • Areas of interest Engineering
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Kylie Catchpole
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

Providing energy for the entire planet without causing catastrophic climate change requires profound Energy Change. Major developments are occurring in the energy sector, both with energy technologies and the economic, social and policy measures that accompany them. This course focuses on renewable energy resources – the technologies that will comprise a large part of global Energy Change. It aims to help students identify the major ‘big picture’ questions in the area of energy resources and develop technically sound ways of quantitatively answering them.

The course commences with an overview of world energy resources, the scientific evidence for climate change, and an introduction to asking good questions - with a focus on ball-park analysis and appropriate physical units.

We next look at individual energy resources in detail (solar PV, nuclear, wind, solar thermal, hydro, bio, geothermal and tidal). We examine their scientific and technical foundations, available resources, integration with the grid, and broader economic and social issues to assess their ultimate potential as well as their practical limitations. Alongside the technical assessment of energy resources, we dedicated individual lectures to calculating the levelized cost of electricity, understanding the current and future electrical grid, and examining broader social and political issues concerned with energy use. Because of the rapid pace of change in this field, the course focuses on developing students’ skills in framing questions and finding answers, as well as being able to critically evaluate those answers and support them with scientific evidence.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to-

1. Identify and use reliable sources of information on energy, and develop their own knowledge and understanding using recently published information.
2. Describe and quantify the major factors affecting the potential contribution to the world's needs of the various sources of energy, such as available resource, status of technical development, and economic aspects.
3. Explain the scientific basis of the energy technologies studied, and use that understanding in calculating the contribution an energy source can make in given circumstances.
4. Explain the potential interaction between 1) different energy sources 2) energy sources and the grid structure and operation, 3) energy sources and present/future demand patterns, 4) energy efficiency and demand.
5. Use the levelized cost of electricity and experience curves to predict energy costs, and understand the limitations of each method.
6. Develop a personal well-argued and quantified view of a possible energy future.

Indicative Assessment

Major project (40% total); On-line discussion forum (10%); Assignments and quizzes (30%); Opinion piece (20%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying Master of Engineering 7710 or 7709 or 7711 or Master of Energy Change 7627


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $2088
2014 $2952
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2916
2008 $2190
2007 $2088
2006 $2088
2005 $2088
2004 $2088
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3450
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3534
2004 $3450
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7577 21 Jul 2014 08 Aug 2014 31 Aug 2014 30 Oct 2014 In Person N/A

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