GCC 3011/5011


Pathways to Renewable Energy

This interdisciplinary course will examine obstacles to energy transitions at different scales. It will explore the role of energy in society, the physics of energy, how energy systems were created and how they function, and how the markets, policies, and regulatory frameworks for energy systems in the US developed. The course will closely examine the Realpolitik of energy and the technical, legal, regulatory, and policy underpinnings of renewable energy in the US and Minnesota. Students will learn the drivers that can lead global systems to change despite powerful constraints and how local and institutional action enables broader reform. Students will put their learning into action by developing proposals for addressing a particular challenge: What would it take to get the University of Minnesota to invest significantly in solar energy?

Course Details

Meeting Time: Spring 2020, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Location: East Bank

Liberal Education Theme: Technology and Society

Topics: energy, economy, politics

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: must be a sophomore, junior, or senior

Professors: Paul Imbertson and Beth Mercer-Taylor