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42912 Sustainable Energy Resources

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Engineering: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Description

The adverse effects on climate change through the continuing depletion of non-renewable fossil-fuel energy sources, as well as urbanisation and rapid population and economic growth have all led to increased demand for sustainable energy resources. In this subject, students model the interaction between non-renewable energy usage and climate change to reveal current challenges and future direction of sustainable energy with respect to technical, societal, environmental and economic implications. Aspects such as energy efficiency and energy conservation strategies and policies are included. On completion, students are able to evaluate and respond to the impact of present and emerging technologies and systems on sustainable energy production and use and the ethical and community issues associated with them within local and national contexts. Further, students are able to apply concepts and principles of renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydrothermal, hydrogen and fuel cell, biomass and biofuels, wave and tidal.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Identify and characterise the drivers for the increasing demand in sustainable energy sources.
2. Understand the concepts and principles of sustainable energy.
3. Describe the challenges and issues of different energy technologies and sources including fossil and renewable energy and assess their trends and potential.
4. Explain the interaction between energy sources and evaluate their socio-technical, economic and environmental effects.
5. Develop recommendations of appropriate sustainable energy technologies for the future.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following faculty Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) and Engineers Australia (EA) Stage 1 competencies:

  • Identify, interpret and analyse stakeholder needs (A.1)
  • Apply systems thinking to understand complex system behaviour including interactions between components and with other systems (social, cultural, legislative, environmental, business etc.) (A.5)
  • Identify and apply relevant problem-solving methodologies (B.1)
  • Demonstrate research skills (B.6)
  • Apply abstraction, mathematics and/or discipline fundamentals to analysis, design and operation (C.1)
  • Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose (E.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Teaching and learning strategies covered in this subject include formal lectures, pre-work sessions, in-class tutorials, group discussions, online readings, individual assignments and oral presentations.

The subject is organised into three face-to-face block sessions throughout the course of the session. During Week 1 (preparatory week), students are required to read assigned materials and introductory note in preparation for the block classes. Pre-work activities such as watching videos and reading online materials prior to each block session will be made available on UTSOnline. Related questions will also be posted, in which students are required to engage to facilitate in-class discussions among students and to be moderated by the lecturer for self-assessment and evaluation. Further feedback for individual learning will be made available through individual appointment with the teaching staff.

Collaborative learning is utilised through in-class group discussions for each lecture module, which will be fully interactive in nature. Guide questions will be given to each group to facilitate discussion among student members. Each group will be given around 30-40 min for discussion, during which time, the teaching staff will divide the time joining each group. A representative from each group will then report the group’s collective arguments and answers to the whole class for open discussion. Students from other groups will then have the opportunity to peer assess and receive feedback from their classmates and the teaching staff. This activity allows students to share their knowledge, assess their understanding and receive direct peer and staff feedback, build their communication skills, and solidify the concepts learned. Students will be required to present their work via oral presentation

Assessment tasks are designed to enhance the students’ learning of the topics covered. Learning Resource Materials (LRM) will be provided at UTSOnline during the preparatory week, which include reading materials, videos, reference to external websites, or text/notes on the class lectures in Word, PDF or Powerpoint format. Assigned readings will be given to students before each block session with open-ended questions that will be discussed during lecture time. Students are expected to attend lecture sessions, participate actively in all tutorial components as well as group discussions and complete assessment tasks by their due dates.

Content (topics)

The topics will focus on:

  • A general introduction to energy and understanding the key drivers behind the increasing demand for sustainable energy resources
  • Understanding the technical fundamentals of energy.
  • Interaction between energy sources, climate change and energy security.
  • Impact of energy on the environment and society
  • Choosing among different options for future sustainable energy

Assessment

Assessment task 1: In-class activities

Intent:

This assessment will enable students to receive feedback on their learning during lectures and in-class activities. The feedback is provided via in-class quizzes or doing group discussions/tasks that encourage collaborative learning.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.5, B.1 and C.1

Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

Variable.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Correctness of identifying problems and solutions 50 1, 2, 3, 4 A.5, B.1, C.1
Correctness of interpretation and analysis of information 50 3, 4 A.5, B.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Oral presentation and report

Intent:

Students will learn more in-depth knowledge and evaluation of specific sustainable energy options, and identify the pros and cons of such options. This will provide collaborative learning, and improve their research and communication skills, as they will work as a group. However, individual learning is assesed through their reporting.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.1, A.5, B.6, C.1 and E.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 20%
Length:

10-15 pages.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Correctness and relevance of content 50 2, 3, 4 A.1, A.5, B.6
Depth and analysis of discussion, quality of report (formatting, structure, clarity) 50 2, 4 A.5, C.1, E.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Energy portfolio

Intent:

This will assess the student's understanding of the different available energy sources and technologies and their effects to environment and society, and to develop recommendations of appropriate sustainable energy technologies for the future.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.1, A.5, B.1, B.6, C.1 and E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

10-15 pages.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Correctness, clarity and depth of analysis and research (collation and synthesis of literature) in considering various energy sources, challenges, socio-technical, environmental and economic issues 50 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 A.1, A.5, B.1, B.6, C.1
Appropriateness and justification of recommendation of sustainable energy options, quality of report (formatting, structure, clarity) 50 2, 4, 5 A.5, C.1, E.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 4: Final examination

Intent:

To assess the competency of students in undertstanding the concepts and principles of sustainable energy, socio-technical and environmental effects, and the evaluation of different energy sources and technologies.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.1 and C.1

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Length:

2 h + 10 min reading time.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Correctness and clarity of solutions and answers 100 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 B.1, C.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.

Recommended texts

  1. Tester et al., Sustainable energy – choosing among options,2nd ed., 2012, Cambridge: MA, MIT Press (UTSLib: 333.794 TEST)
  2. Dunlap, Sustainable Energy, 2015
  3. Mackay, D., Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air,
  4. Seligman, P., Australian Sustainable Energy – by the numbers, 2010, Melbourne Energy Institute

Relevant websites:

  1. Journal: Sustainable Energy
  2. Journal: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

References

Learning Resource Material (LRM) will be provided through UTSOnline to help students with the necessary technical and general knowledge related to the lectures. The LRM will comprise text and multimedia resources.