University of Technology Sydney

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 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Engineering: Civil and Environmental Engineering
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Postgraduate

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 Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Socially Responsible: FEIT graduates identify, engage, and influence stakeholders, and apply expert judgment establishing and managing constraints, conflicts and uncertainties within a hazards and risk framework to define system requirements and interactivity. (B.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design thinking and decision-making methodologies in new contexts or to novel problems, to explore, test, analyse and synthesise complex ideas, theories or concepts. (C.1)
  • Technically Proficient: FEIT graduates apply theoretical, conceptual, software and physical tools and advanced discipline knowledge to research, evaluate and predict future performance of systems characterised by complexity. (D.1)
  • Collaborative and Communicative: FEIT graduates work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, communicating effectively and operating autonomously within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural contexts in the workplace. (E.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies

This subject contributes to the development of the following Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies:

  • 1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
  • 1.4. Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
  • 1.5. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
  • 2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
  • 2.4. Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
  • 3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
  • 3.3. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
  • 3.4. Professional use and management of information.
  • 3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.

Teaching and learning strategies

Teaching and learning strategies covered in this subject include online lectures, pre-work sessions, and group discussions.The subject is organised into three online (via Zoom) block sessions throughout the course of the semester. There will be no face-to-face or on-campus lectures or tutorials for this subject. Pre-recorded lecture videos will be made available on Canvas a week before each block session. During scheduled lecture times, online consultation sessions will be held. Pre-work activities such as watching videos and reading online materials prior to each block session will be made available on Canvas.

Assessment tasks are designed to assure the students’ learning of the topics covered. Learning Resource Materials (LRM) will be provided on Canvas 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.

Students are expected to watch the pre-recorded lecture videos, attend online consultations, participate actively in 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: Sustainable energy report

Intent:

In this assessment task, students engage in the evaluation of specific sustainable energy options, and identify the advantages and disadvantages of such options.

Objective(s):

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

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 30%
Length:

No more than 15 pages in length.

Assessment task 2: Energy portfolio report

Intent:

In this assessment task, students evaluate available energy sources and technologies and their effects to environment and society, and develop recommendations of appropriate sustainable energy technologies for the future.

Objective(s):

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

4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, D.1 and E.1

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

No more than 15 pages in length.

Assessment task 3: Energy portfolio presentation

Intent:

In this assessment task, students communicate key knowledge of their written energy portfolio report using an online multi-media pre-recorded format.

Objective(s):

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

3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

E.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

Not to exceed 5 minutes in recorded length.

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 UTS Canvas to help students with the necessary technical and general knowledge related to the lectures. The LRM will comprise text and multimedia resources.