University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Introduction to Sustainable Energy

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Institute for Sustainable Energy

DESCRIPTION This Study-unit will provide an introduction to sustainable energy. The unit will familiarize students with manifestations of energy and energy resources as available in useful form, and it will demonstrate the importance of energy for societies to function and develop, plus the meaning and importance of sustainability to provide for such functioning in the longer run. An overview will be provided how the energy mix has changed throughout human history to arrive at the present state. Typical current scenarios of energy supply and consumption will be discussed, including the distribution among different sectors, and how this effects the environment. The basic advantages and disadvantages of various renewable energy regimes will be discussed, and how their use relates to energy security and climate protection. The cost of renewable compared to fossil and nuclear energy will be demonstrated. The basics of elementary theory relevant to energy conversion will be included in the unit.

Study-unit Aims

The main scope of this unit is to introduce the most fundamental issues relevant to energy use and the basic concepts within renewable energy. The aims of this study unit thus include to educate students about
- manifestations of energy
- the advantages and disadvantages of renewable vs. nonrenewable energies
- the importance of energy for development and progress
- the concept of sustainability
- the most basic concepts of energy conversion

Learning Outcomes

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

- describe the basics of energy use in society
- explain the concept of sustainability within the framework of energy use
- list the various advantages, problems and limitations associated with the utilization of respective energy resources

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills): By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- evaluate the potential of different energy sources
- assess the advantages and disadvantages deriving from the particular mix of energy resources available to a society.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Manfred Weissenbacher, Sources of Power: How Energy Forges Human History,
Praeger Perspectives, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2009
ISBN-10: 0313356262; ISBN-13: 978-0313356261
(will be available at the Library)

Sustainable Energy - Choosing Among Options,
Jefferson W. Tester (Author), Elisabeth M. Drake (Author), Michael J. Driscoll
(Author), Michael W. Golay (Author), William A. Peters (Author)
The MIT Press, 2005
ISBN-10: 0262201534

Renewable Energy, Third Edition (Hardcover)
Bent Sørensen (Author)
Academic Press, 2004
ISBN-10: 0126561532

Renewable Energy, Second Edition
Boyle, G.
Oxford University Press, 2004
ISBN 0199261784

Energy Systems and Sustainability
Godfrey Boyle, Bob Everett, Janet Ramage
Oxford University Press, 2003
ISBN: 019926179

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 30%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Robert N. Farrugia
Maurizio Fenech (Co-ord.)
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.
Training Courses in Renewable Energy

Please click here for more information.

Refresher Courses in Renewable Energy
More information here.

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

Jan - Feb 2018 Exams
Time Table updated with venues.

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


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