GCC 3011/5011

windmills and solar panels on a green field against a cloudy sky

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 a proposal and then working on a project to accelerate the energy transition and to ensure that the energy transition benefits people in a just and equitable way.