University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Energy Resources: Key Concepts and Case Studies

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Institute for Sustainable Energy

DESCRIPTION The unit will introduce students to various aspects relating to the science and management of energy resources. The distinction between renewable and non-renewable resources will first be explained, before examples of each type are discussed in further detail. In the case of non-renewable resources, a key area of focus will be fossil fuels, which will also be discussed in the light of climate change concerns. Nuclear fission technology will also be outlined. Other potential sources of energy, both mainstream and less so, will also be described and evaluated; these will include solar radiation, wind energy, hydro power, energy from waste, biofuels, wave energy, tidal energy, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and geothermal energy. In each case, issues of supply, storage and transmission will be discussed. The unit will also discuss the conservation of energy through building design and the development of neutral carbon footprint buildings. The social cost of energy, as well as political and economic dimensions of energy debates will also be discussed. The unit will also explore case studies relating to different energy resources and technologies, and will include fieldwork sessions to provide hands-on exposure to different energy generation technologies.

Study-unit Aims:

The study unit aims to:
- give the student a general and broad understanding of the various energy types available;
- explain the consequences, advantages and disadvantages of using one energy source or another, and the general implications of energy use;
- give students an appreciation the political/economic and social dimensions of energy technologies, and an understanding of how these parameters shape the evolution of different technologies;
- introduce students to practical examples of energy resource use from throughout the world through the use of case studies.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. list and describe different energy sources and choices;
b. explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of energy technologies;
c. describe how the evolution of energy technologies depends on influences from social, economic & political agendas;
d. describe practical examples of energy resource use, with reference to case studies.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. analyze how energy use affects the environment and society;
b. evaluate the feasibility of different energy technologies for different contexts, with reference to Malta and elsewhere;
c. assess the societal and political implications of different energy technologies.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Boyle, G., 2004. Renewable Energy - Power for a Sustainable Future. Oxford University Press, UK. 1st Edition. ISBN 0-19-926178-4.
Gipe, P., 2004. Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm and Business. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, U.S.A. Rev Exp Edition. ISBN 1-902916-54-9.


ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: It is strongly recommended that students choosing ISE2106 have at least an O Level in Physics.

Presentation Assessment: Examiners reserve the right to give individual marks in the case of group presentations.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation Yes 20%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Robert N. Farrugia (Co-ord.)
Luciano Mule' Stagno
Charles Emile I. Yousif

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Refresher Courses in Renewable Energy
More information here.

MSc time tables for semester 1
More information is found here.

ThermHCB Project
2012 MCST R&I Programme.

Training Courses in Renewable Energy

Please click here for more information.

Solar Heating Technical Visits
The Institute for Sustainable Energy is offering technical inspection of installed domestic solar water heating systems. 


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