In recent decades there’s been increasing global concern about the sustainability of our use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, which has led to increased interest in more sustainable renewable energy sources.
These ‘renewables’ have been utilised for centuries, in water mills, windmills and wood stoves, but in recent years we’ve developed the technology to utilise these natural power sources on a much larger scale.
During this free online course, we’ll study renewable energy using the four Greek elements as our weekly themes:
- Earth – here we introduce the Earth’s renewable energy sources, most of which are derived from power delivered by the Sun.
- Air – here we look at wind power.
- Fire – here we focus on the direct power of the Sun.
- Water – here we look at hydropower.
When you’ve completed this course you should have an improved understanding of how some key renewable energy technologies work and the contribution they might make to world needs.
All Open University Science MOOCs presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.
What topics will you cover?
- Basic energy principles and terminology
- Definitions of renewable energy sources
- Solar radiation & solar thermal energy technologies
- Wind resources & wind energy technologies
- Hydro resources and hydropower technologies
What will you achieve?
- Explain some basic energy principles and terminology
- Apply the differences between primary, delivered and useful energy
- Describe the key role of solar energy as the source of most renewable sources
- Demonstrate the principles and technologies underlying key renewable energy technologies: solar thermal, wind and hydro power
- Discuss the contribution renewable energies could make to world energy needs
Who is the course for?
This course is intended for those with an interest in renewable energies, climate change and sustainable energy technology, and does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.
Program taught in: