• Class Number 5354
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Daniel MacDonald
    • Dr Anyao Liu
    • Dr Lachlan Black
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
    • Anna Cain
    • David Silalahi
    • Gabriel Bartholazzi Lugao De Carvalho
SELT Survey Results

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:

  1. Develop using systematic engineering methods sustainable solutions to problems related to the utilization of renewable energy.
  2. Engage in independent research and investigation in problems related to the utilization of renewable energy.
  3. Identify and critically evaluate current developments and emerging trends within the field of renewable energy technologies.
  4. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of levelised cost of electricity, the performance of renewable energy technologies and storage and the use of appropriate measurement units.
  5. Interpret and communicate project outcomes effectively to non-technical audience in oral and written form
  6. Develop a personal, quantified, well-argued view of possible energy futures.
  7. Work effectively and proactively, within teams, demonstrating autonomy, ethical conduct, expert judgement, adaptability and responsibility to achieve engineering outcomes at a high standard, and reflect on the processes they undertook to achieve this outcome.

Examination Material or equipment

Non-programmable calculator


1 A4 page of notes - handwritten or printed.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written feedback via the course WATTLE site and by email
  • Verbal feedback during lectures and tutorials/workshops

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Note: Exact lecture order is subject to change L1 - Introduction to the course L2 - Energy case studies
2 L3 - Climate change science L4 - World energy use Tutorial - Group project workshop 1
3 L5 - Energy economics L6 - Fossil Fuels
4 L7 - Wind energy L8 - Photovoltaics Tutorial – Global calculator assignment Group project proposal due
5 L9 - Hydro power L10 - Nuclear Energy
6 L11 - Bio energy L12 - Geothermal/ocean energy Tutorial - Group project workshop 2 Global calculator assignment due
7 L13 - Solar thermal energy L14 - Energy storage
8 L15 - Energy efficiency L16 - Electricity grids Tutorial - Problem based
9 L17 - Hydrogen Final group project report due
10 L18 - Course summary Tutorial - Problem based Project Reflection due
11 Project presentations
12 Project presentations Tutorial - Exam practice Opinion Piece due

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration will be via the course WATTLE site

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Global Calculator Assignment 15 % 1,3,6
Group Project 40 % 1,2,3,4,5,7
Opinion piece 15 % 5,6
Final Exam 30 % 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


2 hour end of semester examination

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,6

Global Calculator Assignment

Use the Global Calculator Tool to explore future carbon emission pathways at a global level.

Details on Wattle

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,7

Group Project

Group project with in-depth analysis of an energy related problem.

Details on Wattle including project registration.

Comprises project proposal (5%), project report (20%), reflection piece (5%) and project presentation (10%).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 5,6

Opinion piece

Provide a well researched and analysed pathway for a company or government to reduce their future carbon emissions. Details in Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final Exam

2 hour exam during end of semester exam period.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

All assignment submissions will be made through the course WATTLE site using Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

Not applicable.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned electronically on Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Assignments cannot be resubmitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Daniel MacDonald

Research Interests

Photovoltaics, solar energy

Renewable energy policy

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

High efficiency silicon devices, including IBC and SLIVER solar cells

Tandem solar cell energy yields

GaAs cells for concentrators and tandem devices

Perovskite/Si tandems

Dr Daniel MacDonald

By Appointment
Dr Anyao Liu

Research Interests

Dr Anyao Liu

Dr Lachlan Black

Research Interests

Dr Lachlan Black

Anna Cain

Research Interests

Anna Cain

David Silalahi

Research Interests

David Silalahi

Gabriel Bartholazzi Lugao De Carvalho

Research Interests

Gabriel Bartholazzi Lugao De Carvalho

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions