The world energy demand continues to grow at an increasing rate, especially in the developing countries, such as China. However, available fossil fuel resources are decreasing. It is predicted that the world oil production will reach the peak in a few years. The energy crisis problems will escalate seriously then. Moreover, burning fossil fuels is the main source of greenhouse gas and air pollutants, which are detrimental to the environment. Therefore, our present fossil fuel based energy supply is indeed not sustainable.
Recently, research and development on clean energy and renewable energy are very active. New government policies, commitments and regulations are set to promote green energy. The energy industry is entering a new era of sustainability.
This course is designed to enable students to develop a broader perspective and critical understanding of the current energy issues. The students after taking the course will have the basic comprehension of the science and technologies related to energy supply and utilization. The students will understand the environmental impacts and political conflicts arising from the world's heavy reliance on fossil fuel based energy supply. The students will also be able to apply the knowledge learned to assess innovative alternative energy technologies and policies in different contexts, such as economy, environment, social and political matters. The major learning activities include lectures, tutorials, seminars, live demonstration experiments, project and field trip.